New Delhi: With number of coronavirus cases rising in Karnataka, the state government has decided to utilise final year medical students for COVID-19 duties. The decision has been taken also because the state is facing a shortage of staff to achieve its testing targets. Also Read - Karnataka Not to Permit Opening of New Schools This Academic Year Amid Pandemic

While the recruitment will be made directly, the final year students of lab technician courses, science students of Bengaluru’s Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) and volunteers will get proper training before being assigned their duties. Also Read - Unlock 2 Returns to Karnataka: Only Night Curfew, Sunday Lockdown to Continue | Check Details

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by Karnataka Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar. Also Read - Trace, Track, Test, Treat, Technology: How Karnataka Govt Adopts 5T Strategy to Tackle Coronavirus

“The target is to conduct 30,000 tests per day in Bengaluru alone, but due to shortage of staff, the government is not being able to achieve it. We’re already utilising the services of staffs from 80 private labs and fever clinics. Mobile units, too, are facing shortage of trained manpower. Therefore, necessary arrangements are being made through the Disaster Management Act”, the minister said in a press statement.

“Also, decisions have to be made to admit patients in COVID care centres and hospitals. It is the duty of zonal teams to provide ambulances wherever necessary”, the statement further said.

Notably, Karnataka has thus far recorded 80,863 cases of coronavirus. Of these, 49,937 are active cases, 29,310 discharges and 1,616 deaths.

(With inputs from ANI)