RAWALPINDI: The Punjab government has asked medical universities to call third and final year MBBS students to volunteer at quarantine facilities.

According to a letter from the Punjab Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department to universities’ vice chancellors, third and final year MBBS students will be called back to their public sector medical institutions to assist doctors at quarantine facilities in their respective hospitals.

The letter said the students would be called back today (Wednesday) and would be trained within a few days.

A senior health department official told Dawn the government has advertised jobs for more than 1,000 medical staff, including doctors and paramedics, to meet the shortage in hospitals and quarantine facilities in the province.

He said the newly-recruited doctors and MBBS students will perform their duties in quarantine facilities and hospitals.

“The government will call the students as volunteers and no extra work will be sought from them,” he said.

Punjab Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department Secretary Nabeel Ahmad Awan said the provincial government has asked universities to call medical students back, but they will not be involved in clinical work.

“The students will help doctors manage people in quarantine, and they will carry out data compilation and other work. The government will also ensure their safety,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2020