The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has approved the introduction of a new category called 'Wards of COVID Warriors' for selection and nomination of candidates under the Central Pool MBBS/BDS seats for the academic year 2020-21 as a gesture to honour the COVID warriors for serving humanity amid pandemic.
Taking about the move, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan addressing the press said, "This will honour the Solemn Sacrifice of all COVID warriors who served with selfless dedication for the cause of duty and humanity."
According to the Health Ministry, Central Pool MBBS seats will 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, and only Five (05) Central Pool MBBS seats have been reserved for this Category for the year 2020-21, the Ministry added.
The Union Health Minister also announced the insurance package of ₹50 lakhs laid down by Government of India for COVID Warriors, and went on to define the latter as, "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 (INIs)/hospitals of Central Ministries drafted for COVID-19 related responsibilities are all included," adding that the State/UT Governments will certify the eligibility for this category.
The selection of candidates will be made by the Medical Council Committee (MCC) through online application on the basis of rank obtained in the NEET-2020 conducted by National Testing Agency.