The candidates will be selected by the Medical Council Committee (MCC) through online applications on the basis of rank obtained in the NEET-2020

In order to honour ‘COVID Warriors’ for their service to humanity, the government of India has decided to reserve five seats of the Central Pool MBBS medical education seats for their children, thereby creating a new category ‘Wards of COVID Warriors’ for the year 2020-21.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced the decision of the central government on his official Twitter handle saying that this decision reflects the government’s commitment to the Corona Warriors.

He wrote, “History will never forget the contribution of #CoronaWarriors. Saluting their contribution @MoHFW_INDIA has decided to reserve 5 MBBS seats of Central Pool for Corona Warriors. The government’s move reflects the Modi government’s commitment to the Corona Warriors.”

According to the decision, the Central Pool MBBS seats will be allocated for selection and nominations of the candidates from amongst the children of COVID Warriors, who have lost life due to COVID-19 or died accidently on account of COVID-19 related duty.

For this, the government will introduce a new category called ‘Wards of COVID Warriors,’ in the guidelines for selection and nomination of candidates against Central Pool MBBS seats for the academic Year 2020-21.

The Union Health Minister said that the decision has been taken to dignify the sacrifices made by the COVID Warriors. “This will honour the Solemn Sacrifice of all COVID warriors who served with selfless dedication for the cause of duty and humanity,” he said.

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, according to an official statement. The State/UT Government will certify the eligibility for this category, it said.

This is not the first time that the Indian government has taken a step to honour Corona Warriors. The government had, earlier this year, announced an insurance package of Rs 50 lakh for the COVID Warriors.

The government defining ‘COVID Warriors’ had said, “COVID Warriors are 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.”

The definition also included the staff of private hospital, retired, volunteer, local urban bodies, contracted, daily wage, ad-hoc and outsourced staff requisitioned by states, central hospitals, autonomous hospitals of central, states or UTs.

The staff of AIIMS and Institutes of National Importance (INIs), hospitals of Central Ministries drafted for COVID-19 related responsibilities are also included in the definition.

The Union Health Minister has on several occasions announced that whenever a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, the first doses will be administered to the Corona Warriors.