AIIMS sets up committee to look into modalities for re-starting OPD services

By Joymala Bagchi

New Delhi [India], May 19 (ANI): The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi has set up a committee to look into modalities for re-starting the OPD services in a phased manner.

The committee will also seek to ensure the safety of non-COVID patients and healthcare workers from getting any infection at the hospital.

"We are planning and making all the arrangements to open OPD in a phased manner. A committee has been set up for looking into the procedures, protocols for scheduling of patients and other processes," Dr (Prof) Aarti Vij, Chairperson, Media and Protocol Division, AIIMS, told ANI.

Moreover, all patients coming to OPD with prior appointments will go through the screening areas. COVID suspects with mild symptoms may be asked to quarantine themselves at home as per the government guidelines. The purpose is to segregate influenza-like illness (ILI) and COVID suspects before they are further referred to go to the main OPD.

"We are also planning for a screening OPD where the patients would first get screened. The one with mild symptoms will be asked to be under home quarantine as per government protocols and will be asked to contact helplines through Aarogya Setu app for testing. For others, they would be transferred to the respective OPDs," Dr Vij said.

Tele-consultation or telemedicine is also under consideration for follow-up of the patients.

Till date, various departments of AIIMS have provided over 34,000 tele-consultations during the period of lockdown.

CoNTeC at AIIMS, New Delhi has handled over 4500 calls that include 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 as well as a public helpline.

Around 44,000 mails from across the country have been responded to through the dedicated email ID (technicalquery.covid19@gov.in) to clarify any doubts in the minds of the general public pertaining to any technical aspect of COVID-19.

"Follow-up patients have been benefitted by tele-consultations hugely," Dr Vij said.

As AIIMS is now in the process of opening its OPD service, crucial aspects such as physical distancing, air-circulation and sanitization will be stressed upon.

AIIMS had shut down all the emergency services since March 24 as part measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

India crossed one lakh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. In Delhi, the total number of cases are 10,054. (ANI)