Even as the novel coronavirus cases continue to rise in Haryana, two leading medical institutes — Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College (KCGMC), Karnal, and PGIMER, Rohtak— have decided to resume practical classes of first-year students of MBBS from August 4, amidst opposition from students.
Students are questioning the move of the two medical institutes claiming there are no clear guidelines from the Medical Council of India (MCI), a regulatory body of all medical institutes.
The two medical institutes have sent emails to the students, instructing them to report at the college at 10 am on August 4 for the upcoming practical classes, which could last for at least a month.
At least 70 of the120 students of KCGMC, Karnal, who received the mail, shot off a letter to the Dean (Academics), KCGMC, urging her to roll back the decision in view of the increasing cases of COVID-19.
There are a total of 370 students — 120 at KCGMC, Karnal, and 250 at PGIMER, Rohtak — who are being asked to report for the practical classes.
When contacted, Dr Himanshu Madaan, Dean (Academics), KCGMC, said, “We are following the instructions of our university, Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences Rohtak (USHR). We were instructed to resume the practical classes of first-year students. Their written exams are scheduled to be held in September. The exams cannot be postponed as per university guidelines and without the practical classes, the syllabus of the first-year students will be incomplete. We called the students before making all the arrangements related to COVID-19.”
A senior faculty member of KCGMC, Karnal, requesting anonymity, said, “There is no clarity from the MCI as well. It simply issued orders that the exams should be held in September. We completed the theoretical syllabus through online classes. But practicals cannot be online. It is a complicated situation, especially with the surge in the number of corona cases.”
Dr Sarita Mangoo, Dean (Academics), PGIMER, Rohtak, did not respond to repeated calls.
However, a faculty member said, “We were informed about the practical classes on July 22. We issued the letters on July 29. Many of the students filed objections but many others have agreed to come.”
According to the order of KCGMC, Karnal, “Students will report in batches of 30 students each from August 4 between 8 am and 10 am. Then their samples for COVID-19 will be collected. The report will come after four-six hours. Only those who test negative will be allowed to enter the hostel. Those who test positive will have to follow the Covid protocol at the institute.”
The students are opposing the move. A student requesting anonymity said, “There is no such move on the part of other medical colleges such as BPS Khanpur, SHKM, Mewat, ESIC, Faridabad. Even in Chandigarh, no physical classes are being held at PGIMER or GMCH-32.”
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