Hyderabad: The post graduate(PG) medical students in Telangana demanded postponement of exams of final year in view of the current situation. Examinations for the final year PG students in the state are scheduled to begin from June 20. However, the PG students claim that they need six more weeks of preparation time as they were posted for Covid-19 duties in their respective hospitals till the first week of May, 2020.
According to Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA), the final year PG students attended isolation and Covid-19 ward duties due to which they require 28 days of quarantine period. Also, the PG students have been facing difficulties due to the lockdown and are not able to prepare in their hostel study rooms, because of three Covid-19 positive cases in the Osmania Medical College (OMC).
The PG students are in a panic as three students who tested positive used to study in reading rooms and often visited hostel mess. The students said many of them share rooms with PG students who are performing Covid-19 duties due to which others in the OMC hostel fear likelihood of the spread of the virus.
Dr Shalini (name changed on request), a PG final year student, told NewsMeter, “We are final year students and stay in hostel. Hostel is a common place where all the PGs from first year, second year and final year stay. We also got off from duties a few days back, for exam preparation. Today morning, we got to know that one of the first year PG students is Covid-19 positive. Even though she isolated herself after sensing the symptoms, she was here three days ago. All the hostellers usually meet at a common point in the hostel mess, reading room and even our rooms. We study in reading rooms and we stay together in our rooms with all the students. All the students are not being screened. It is very difficult to wear a N95 mask and write exam for three hours, we may faint while writing exams while writing exams. We have to write a lot in 3 hours and so, we need to be very fast. Apart from that, we will also be worried about the presence of infected persons in the examination centre.”
She adds, “It is not that we are not ready for exams but we are also human beings and need some time to prepare for final year exams. We are even scared to sit in reading rooms to prepare as we do not know who all are affected by Covid-19. We can’t go home after performing duties as we have our old parents and grandparents at home, so we are forced to stay in hostels even for preparation of examinations. Keeping all this in mind, we approached the state health minister Etala Rajender and the Vice-Chancellor of Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences Dr Karunakar Reddy to give us more time to prepare for the exams. We demand the government to conduct our exams in July so that we get some breathing time for exam preparation. We feel inadequate preparation time will strike us out of the competition in senior residency allotments and super speciality entrance exams. Moreover, medical colleges in Bangalore, Nasik have given their tentative dates for June 23 and July 15 respectively.”
Another PG student said, “About three PG students tested positive in OMC due to which there’s a scare in our hostels as all the students share rooms with first year, second year, third year and final year students. It is really difficult to study in our hostel rooms so we often study in reading rooms but now we are scared of studying in reading rooms too. We are scared to go to hostel mess because we don’t know which PG student is affected in our hostel. We can’t even go home because it may affect our family members. It is really difficult to study and concentrate on exams with lots of disturbance due to which we demand postponement of our exams for six more weeks. We feel inadequate preparation time will remove us from the competition in senior residency allotments and super speciality entrance exams.”
Dr K.U.N. Vishnu, president- Telangana Junior Doctors Association, “The exams for PG final year students was earlier scheduled from April 23, 2020. However, due to Covid-19 situation all the PG students were called for Covid-19 duties at their respective hospitals. After performing Covid-19 duties, they feel a lot of stress and in such a situation, the PG students are not mentally and physically prepared to write exams. After our request, the exams were postponed to June 8 but after knowing about the positive cases today in OMC, we are in a panic situation and cannot write exams from June 20. PG students who tested positive in OMC used to visit the reading rooms and hostel mess and we are even more scared. So, we demand postponement of exams till the situation improves. We demand postponement of exams till Jul 1, 2020.”
Mr Karunakar Reddy, Vice Chancellor- Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences told Newsmeter, “There’s no rationale in postponement of exams because we have already postponed the exams for about 12 days and we can’t go on postponing the exams because it will affect many other students. There is an assumption that Covid cases would surge in July and August. So, how will we conduct the exams if cases increase in the next few months. If students are facing problem in studying in reading rooms in OMC, they should go home and study. The MCI has written a letter to complete the exams before June 30.”
“The PG, MD, MS and Diploma examinations which were scheduled be held from June 8, 2020, were postponed to June 20, 2020. If we conduct the exams in June, all these students will be ready to serve the country. We also have to conduct practicals after theory exams so we can’t go on postponing the exams now. If the PG students are doubtful, they can even get tested fo Covid-19.”