MBBS, BDS seats to be reserved for wards of ‘COVID Warriors’: Vardhan

Harsh Vardhan (File photo)

New Delhi (NVI): Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today announced a new category called ‘Wards of COVID Warriors’ for the selection of candidates for MBBS and BDS seats for the academic year 2020-21.

Speaking at a briefing, Harsh Vardhan said that, this move aims to dignify and honour the noble contribution made by the COVID Warriors in treatment and management of COVID patient.

Under this new category, five central pool MBBS seats have been reserved for the academic year 2020-21. “This will honour the Solemn Sacrifice of all COVID warriors who served with selfless dedication for the cause of duty and humanity,” the Minister said.

“Central Pool MBBS seats may be allocated for selection and nominations of the candidates from amongst the wards of “COVID Warriors”, who have lost life due to COVID 19 or died accidently on account of COVID 19 related duty,” Ministry of Health and Family Welfare quoting Vardhan said in a statement.

Moreover, the definition of COVID Warrior has been laid down by government while announcing the insurance package of Rs 50 lakhs for them, the Minister said, adding that, “COVID Warriors are all public healthcare providers including community health workers, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients and who may be at risk of being impacted by this.”

“Private hospital staff and retired/volunteer/ local urban bodies/ contracted/ daily wage/ ad-hoc/ outsourced staff requisitioned by States/ Central hospitals/ autonomous hospitals of Central/ States/UTs, AIIMS and Institutes of National Importance (INI)/ hospitals of Central Ministries drafted for COVID-19 related responsibilities are all included,” he added.

Vardhan further stated that the State and Union Territories government will certify the eligibility for this new category.

Furthermore, the selection of candidates will be made by the Medical Council Committee (MCC) through the online application on the basis of rank obtained in the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET)- 2020, the ministry said.