The Telangana government has drafted students of Public Health from the University of Hyderabad, as part of its containment strategy to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The students will be deployed for conducting epidemiological fieldwork in various districts across the state.
As many as 15 students of the second-semester Master of Public Health (MPH) course have volunteered for the work, the university officials said on Thursday. The students have received orders from district authorities to participate in active and passive surveillance teams.
Telangana, through the Office of the Director for Public Health and Family Welfare of the Ministry of Health, has undertaken a statewide surveillance and containment strategy against COVID-19 in line with the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Global Surveillance strategy for human infection.
Lauding the students for volunteering to serve in the hour of crisis, Vice-Chancellor of University of Hyderabad, Professor Appa Rao Podile described it as part of the university's social responsibility mandate. "For students of public health at our university, this is indeed a valuable opportunity for gaining hands-on experience in a field in which they are getting trained", he said.
Apart from the Public Health students, four research scholars and 30 students, including current MPH seniors and alumni, have volunteered to work with the Telangana government for the humanitarian cause.
One more person died of coronavirus in Telangana on Thursday, taking the death toll to 12, Health Minister Eatala Rajender said. The state reported 18 COVID-19 positive cases on Thursday, taking the state's tally of positive cases to 471. Of this 45 have recovered and discharged from hospitals and 12 have died.
He said out of total positive cases, 385 were those who attended Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi last month. "Had there been no Markaz cases, by now Telangana would have been free from coronavirus," he said.
He claimed that the number of cases was coming down as evident from the fact that during the last 24 hours, only 18 were found positive out of 665 samples tested.