Anticipating surge in Covid cases, PGIMER says time not right to reopen OPDs
The director said that considering the upcoming festive season, a surge in numbers could not be ruled out.Updated: Oct 18, 2020, 23:53 IST
Anticipating a surge in cases of Covid-19 during the festive season, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has said that it will be wise to wait for more time before reopening the outpatient departments (OPDs).
An official release quoting professor Jagat Ram, the director of PGIMER, said, “We at PGIMER are fully conscious of our responsibility towards non-Covid patients and are keen to open the physical OPDs. However, in pre-Covid times, a routine day at our OPDs meant a footfall of over 10,000. It’s a decision worth waiting for some more time till it is amply clear that the worst is over and the curve has actually flattened. Any hasty decision may backfire, amounting to risking precious lives.”
The director said that considering the upcoming festive season, a surge in numbers could not be ruled out.
4 lakh provided teleconsultations since May 19
On catering to non-Covid patients during the pandemic, the director was quoted saying, “It is a misconception that the health needs of non-Covid patients have not been addressed because physical OPDs were closed. On an average, 1,800-2,500 patients reached out through teleconsultation on a daily basis, and PGIMER has provided OPD consultation to almost 4 lakh patients since May 19. In addition, 27,722 surgeries have been performed and 30,389 patients have availed treatment.”
Physical OPD services in the gynaecology, radiotherapy and ophthalmology departments have been functional throughout the pandemic, he said, adding that initiatives way beyond their bed strength had been taken by them.
To avoid crowding in the OPDs, the institute is ramping up the infrastructure required to ensure social distancing by creating separate screening and holding areas, which is almost ready now, the director said.
Consultations were on with various stakeholders to work out the modalities to reopen physical OPDs through staggered steps to ensure safety of patients, he added.