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Jakarta Post

15,000 medical students ready to join fight against COVID-19: House

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 27, 2020   /   01:23 pm
15,000 medical students ready to join fight against COVID-19: House A doctor explains about personal protective clothing during a simulation of COVID-19 patient handling at Pertamina Plaju Hospital in Palembang, South Sumatra, on March 12, 2020. (Antara/Feny Selly)

At least 15,000 medical students nationwide are ready to be deployed in the country’s fight against COVID-19, according to House of Representatives Commission X overseeing education, and the Education and Culture Ministry.

Commission X chairman Syaiful Huda said students from 158 universities had signed up to the ministry to help around 1,500 doctors and 2,500 nurses, as reported by the government’s COVID-19 rapid response team.

“This is good news because many places are expected to soon have a shortage of medical workers, as COVID-19 cases escalate,” Syaiful said in a statement on Thursday.

Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim previously called on the public, and especially university students, across the country to join efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister said he felt “touched” after hearing the willingness of the 15,000 students to volunteer in the COVID-19 fight.

Read also: Doctors and nurses wanted: Regions brace for COVID-19 amid medical staff shortage

Apart from mobilizing university students, the ministry has also prepared laboratories to test more samples from people suspected of having contracted COVID-19, and turned some of its facilities into isolation wards.

There are currently 13 medical schools and 13 educational hospitals appointed by the Health Ministry to be COVID-19 test labs.

It has also prepared an educational hospital to be ready to treat COVID-19 patients.

Syaiful called on the government to train the volunteers and equip them with personal protective gear to do the volunteer work. 

"This is important because they are our children. We don’t want them to get infected," he said, adding that not only medical staff, but the rapid response team was also in need of volunteers for hospital administration staff and ambulance drivers.