CHENNAI: Amid COVID-19 infections surging past new heights every passing day, the Directorate of Medical Education has shot off a letter to the deans and heads of government medical colleges in the State, instructing them to immediately recall all paramedical students and engage them in COVID-related duties in hospitals.
Citing "COVID pandemic" and "increasing cases", the letter dated September 8, from the director of medical education, Dr R Narayana Babu, warned of action if the students failed to return to their colleges.
Following the order, the head of paramedical colleges have started making calls to students, especially those pursuing the nursing courses, to rejoin courses immediately. An action-taken report may be sent to the directorate without fail, the letter further asked the deans.
Students to deal with crisis
"We have to deal with both COVID and non-COVID cases. The students, including those pursuing nursing and emergency technician courses, will be helpful in hospital wards. For most of these students, training in wards is part of their course. A few students are returning as of now. We want the nursing students to join fast, they are the priority," said another doctor.
The letter said: "If they (students) fail to rejoin during the present crisis, severe action will be taken against them and their course completion will be delayed or postponed."
A lab technician, however, said that students of Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technicians, who are doing internships, have already been working in non-COVID labs and outpatient units. "The heads of institutions are threatening them saying their course certificate will be delayed if they fail to report for work."