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Screening area to be set up at AIIMS before OPD services start

Health Medical Pharma

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A screening area will be set up at the AIIMS here to identify and segregate patients having symptoms of influenza-like illness and COVID-19 before they are referred to the OPD as the hospital gears up to resume out-patient department services in a phased manner, officials said.

According to the AIIMS Chief Spokesperson Dr Aarti Vij, the premier hospital is in the process of modifying OPDs in view of COVID-19.

Preparations are in full-swing for setting up a screening OPD to identify and segregatepatients having influenza-like-illnessand COVID-19 suspects before they are sent to the main OPD, she said.

"This is being done from the point of view of taking all possible infection controlmeasures to prevent any spread ofinfection to non-COVID patients and healthcare workers.Steps are also being taken towards ensuring good air circulation. Since we are modifyingthe OPDs, it will require few more days," Dr Vij said.

It has been close to a month that the AIIMS has shut down itsOPDservices andcurtailedall elective surgeries as part of its effort towardsredirecting its resources to control the COVID-19 outbreak.

The hospital has also constituted a committee to devise a strategy for restoring healthcare services in a phased manner, Dr Vij said.

A large proportion of manpower and patient care facilities are being dedicatedfor managing COVID-19 patients. Besides the AIIMS Trauma Centre has been converted into a dedicated COVID-19 hospital and the NCI Jhajjar also is treating coronavirus infected patients.

"Doctors at AIIMS are currently providing tele-consultation to all follow-up patients in an effort to reduce the need for them to visit the facility during the lockdown. Around 1000 tele-consultations are being provided per dayin differentdepartments in total andthese figures are going up," Dr Vij said.

The COVID-19 National Tele-consultation Centre (CoNTeC) at AIIMS, New Delhi has handled over 4,500 calls that includes calls for COVID-19 related queries, tele-consultation calls by doctors and calls for appointments.

The CoNTeC phone number (+91 9115444155) can be dialled from anywhere in the country/world for OPD appointments and also used as a public helpline.

Besides, around 44,000 mails from across the country have been responded to through the dedicated email ID ( to clarify any doubts in the minds of the general public pertaining to any technical aspect of COVID-19, Dr Vij said.

An AIIMS sub-committeeearlier was asked to prepare ablueprint forsmooth restoration ofOPD and non-emergency surgery services.

Thechief of Centres and Heads of Departments at AIIMSwere asked to give an estimate of how many cases they can handle in a day if it has to be restarted.

The OT teams were also asked to finalise and draw ablueprint on how non-emergency surgeries will be conductedkeeping in mind that some operation theatres are reserved for suspectedCOVID-19 patients in the main OT area of the hospital.

At present hospital services have beencurtailedas part of the government strategy to fight COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first time in its history, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences hereshut down its OPD services, including speciality, and all new and follow-up registrationsfrom March 24.

The AIIMS had also issueda circular postponing all nonessential elective procedures and surgeries and directed that only emergency life-saving surgeries be conducted with effect from March 21.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 19 2020. 15:48 IST