ISLAMABAD: As 2,118 new cases and 52 deaths were reported due to Covid-19 in a single day on Wednesday, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) stopped medical universities across the country from holding examinations in the current month.
Ministry spokesperson Sajid Shah said that during a meeting, chaired by NHS secretary Aamir Ashraf Khawaja, it was decided that all medical professional examinations would be conducted after Feb 1.
Some of the universities had already announced dates of examinations in the current month and, despite a number of queries by students, they were claiming that the examinations would be held on already announced dates.
Medical universities barred from holding exams in January by health ministry
Mr Shah said that it was also decided that examinations would be held on staggered dates for different years.
“A meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) was held on Wednesday and there was representation from all stakeholders in it. Over the last one week we received thousands of calls as some of the universities announced dates of examinations in January despite the fact that they were closed till the end of the current month,” he said.
“A number of medical students were demanding that they should be promoted in a similar way as students of primary and secondary schools were promoted, but at the meeting there was consensus that students seeking professional degrees cannot be promoted without examinations. It was decided in the meeting that examinations will be held and universities have been made bound to hold examinations in February,” he said.
In reply to a question, Mr Shah said that because of the decision students will get a few more weeks for preparation of examinations.
Meanwhile, the NCOC data showed that of 52 casualties reported on Wednesday, 45 died in hospitals while seven died out of hospitals. There were 313 patients on ventilators across the country.
Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2021