Updated: March 19, 2020 9:31:07 am
Even as schools and colleges in the state have shut down, medical students still await instructions from the medical education and research department amid rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra. Panic, meanwhile, has led many students to return home.
While state universities and affiliated colleges come under higher and technical education department, medical colleges in Maharashtra are governed by the medical education and research department and affiliated to Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik (MUHS).
While state medical colleges cannot take any such decision in the absence of a circular from MUHS, some colleges have issued circulars to students suspending all activities.
The Government Medical College in Solapur on Monday asked students to vacate the hostel, while K J Somaiya Medical College also suspended activities from March 16 and postponed exams till March 31.
Parents of many MBBS students in government colleges have asked their wards to return home, causing many to abandon internal exams and academic activities midway.
Vijay Joshi, the father of a fourth-year MBBS student in Seth GS Medical College, said he didn’t want to take any risk with regard to his daughter.
“Our children are not yet well equipped to deal with medical emergencies. Though they are currently being provided medical postings, many of us parents have decided not to send our children to colleges,” he added.
Akola resident Dr Warsha Ghate has also asked her daughter, a first-year MBBS student at KEM hospital, to return home.
“We hear that most of the transport facilities will be shut and we can’t take a risk. Internal exams at her college were scheduled till Saturday but we feel the college will ultimately understand our position,” she said.
MUHS Registrar Dr Kalidas Chavan on Tuesday wrote to the secretary (medical education) seeking to know what directions to be followed but has not received any response yet. Yuva Sena member Sainath Durge has also written to Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh asking him to declare how many medical students will get leave and when.
When contacted, Director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research, Dr T P Lahane, said: “We have already communicated with the authorities. But it is unlikely that the activities for medical students will be suspended. The government is of the opinion that medical students should proactively contribute at such times.”
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