Relief for non-Covid patients, SJH opens OPDs, AIIMS may follow suit

Safdarjung Hospital Delhi

New Delhi, May 5 : In a major development amid the ongoing coronavirus induced lockdown, Delhis Safdarjang Hospital confirmed to IANS that the outpatient department (OPD) has been opened for the public from Tuesday.

Speaking to IANS, a hospital official said on condition of anonymity, “Yes the OPD has been opened for the patients.”

The source also said that the OPD was never closed. “We had just stopped registering new patients and had cut short the timing of the OPD service for the follow-up patients till 10.30 a.m. From today, we have opened registration for new patients till 10.30 a.m.”

The official said that the OPD service has been opened with certain terms and conditions. “We have to ensure that social distancing is maintained. We have trained our support staff so that they can keep a check on whether people are maintaining social distancing norms, and send the patients one by one,” he said.

Elaborating further, the official told IANS that the hospital has ramped up its dedicated Covid-19 block in case they have more coronavirus patients. “We are also marking circles so that social distancing is maintained,” he said.

However, the official said that people should still avoid coming to the hospital. “We are receiving asymptomatic Covid-19 patients, so people need to understand that they can still contract the virus. Therefore, they should avoid non-essential medication,” said the official.

He also added that by now people have understood the value of hand hygiene and social distancing etc. “I am very hopeful that people are now aware of the danger of coronavirus and will follow the instructions. Guidelines in this regard will be conspicuously displayed in the hospital premises. Now even all the doctors on duty will wear PPE while treating non-Covid patients. But we are still waiting for official orders from the administration.”

Meanwhile, an official of the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Delhi, told IANS that discussions are on regarding opening OPD services at the hospital.

“Things are yet to be materialised, but there are discussions that the OPDs should be opened for patients now. We are expecting this to happen soon,” he said.

However, the official said that guidelines for social distancing and other precautionary measures are yet to be finalised.

“The administration is mulling over this issue and the OPD will be opened with conditions,” he said.

In the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, both the hospitals had earlier suspended their OPD service for new patients in order to avoid transmission of the disease and overcrowding.

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