KARACHI: A two-day online conference on the theme of new norms for Covid-19 pandemic organised by APPNA Institute of Public Health, Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) Karachi, concluded on Saturday, according to a press release issued here.

On the first day, 20 ‘best’ research works made in the country were presented on medical, psycho-social and institutional effects of Covid-19.

On the second day, plenary sessions and moderated discussions were held.

Five international and 20 national public health experts and policy-makers expressed their views.

JSMU vice chancellor Prof Syed Muhammad Tariq Rafi said that the university had quickly evolved and trained its faculty to continue its educational activities in response to challenges posed by the pandemic.

Prof Cory Neudorf from University of Saskatchewan, Canada, said that the pandemic posed a great challenge to medical education which had been completely transformed into online education.

Dr Gohar Wajid emphasised that Higher Education Commission should shift its policy to online education.

Students’ representatives stressed that availability of online gadgets and improvement in Internet availability held the key for uninterrupted medical education operations during the pandemic.

Health Secretary Dr Kazim Hussain Jatoi said that the Sindh government was striving continuously to facilitate the health sector for uninterrupted services to Covid-19 patients and efforts to stop spread of the pandemic.

The experts recommended that ensuring transparency with online exams was difficult and exams should be conducted physically.

Prof Zafar Fatmi from the Aga Khan University, Dr Nitya Rao from the University of East Anglia, Norwich and Prof Lubna Ansari Baig of the APPNA Institute of Public Health also expressed their views.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2021

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