Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 test must for medicos

Government medical colleges are gearing up to reopen on December 7 with precautionary measures in place for COVID-19. While students have been told to undergo a COVID-19 test, arrangements are being made to provide masks and ensure physical spacing on the campus.

R. Narayana Babu, Director of Medical Education, said the government’s instructions had been communicated to deans of all medical colleges in the State. They should take measures to run the colleges and hostels, keeping in mind the COVID-19 norms.

“Wearing masks is a must for students. We have told institutions to provide masks to students. Strict handwashing should be followed in colleges and hostels. Institutions should provide hand sanitisers and handwash facilities in colleges and hostels.

Students will be screened for fever before entering the campus and classrooms. In case any student has symptoms of COVID-19, the candidate can immediately go for testing at the institution,” he said.

Maintaining adequate spacing in classrooms and hostels was not an issue in government medical colleges, he said and added: “All colleges have additional space. For instance, if a college has 100 seats, it has a capacity to accommodate 100 more students keeping in mind Medical Council of India norms. We will utilise the additional space to ensure that there is sufficient physical distancing in classrooms and laboratories. A majority of hostel rooms are twin-sharing facilities.”

A college authority said: “The DME has issued directions to frame our own set of guidelines based on the instructions received from the State government and the National Medical Commission (NMC).”

“Students should undergo COVID-19 testing prior to joining colleges. They can arrive on the day of reopening if they get the result by then. If not, they can come 24 to 48 hours earlier for a swab test on campus,” he added.

As per NMC guidelines, the college would re-open in a phased manner, starting with final year MBBS students.

“We will be dividing the students into batches. We are making arrangements to screen for fever and to provide sanitiser and face masks before they enter the classrooms. We are planning to conduct virtual classes to sensitise students on COVID-19,” he added.

Another college authority said it was not necessary for all to come on December 7 and students could take two days more, depending on the availability of transportation.

An MBBS student of a government medical college said they had received instructions to undergo COVID-19 testing before joining college. “Many students are waiting for colleges to reopen, worrying that the curriculum may be affected. However, institutions should ensure physical distancing should be maintained in colleges. At least, government medical colleges should provide masks for all students,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 11:48:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-test-must-for-medicos/article33244325.ece

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