“Despite rise in COVID-19 cases, social and religious events are happening, markets are operational. I do not find any reason to wait for 6-8 more months for situation to normalise and reopen the medical colleges,” says Dr Maha Singh, professor, Department of Paediatrics, Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College, (SHKM), Mewat.
It is the best opportunity, says Dr Singh to learn epidemic management for future doctors. “Online classes can complete the syllabus but cannot offer the practical experience to students pursuing MBBS. Enough of virtual classes, now is the time to resume physical classes. Students need to stand by bedside to learn patient care management as well,” says Dr Singh, while emphasising on the need to take care of SOPs and guidelines with respect to social distancing and prevention of spread of COVID-19 issued by the central, state and UT governments.
“In view of the second wave of the COVID-19 cases in neighbouring states, it is important to call students on the campus in phased manner. Colleges must continue online classes for theory while students can be allowed on the campus for practical classes,” says Priyam Rawat a first-year MBBS student at ERA’s Lucknow Medical College & Hospital. His college has started practical classes in the campus since November 1.
“Epidemic management as a subject will be taught to students in third year of the medical course, but COVID has given us a chance to learn soon,” says Priyam.
“The pandemic compelled us to focus on blended mode of learning. Resuming full flagged classes will not be appropriate till the vaccine hits the market. It is really difficult to take care of all safety measures while residing in the hostel on shared occupancy,” says Abanikant Swain, a first-year student at Sriram Chandra Bhanj Medical College and Hospital (SCB Medical College), Cuttack.
Students are back to hostel at Sriram Chandra Bhanj Medical College and Hospital as the college has resumed physical practical classes since October.