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Friday, 6 November 2020

PGI begins rapid antigen testing at New OPD Block

Dushyant Singh Pundir
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 5

To prevent the further spread of coronavirus, the PGI has started rapid antigen testing of suspected Covid-19 patients and their attendants in the New OPD Block.

Dr Naveen Pandey, Deputy Medical Superintendent of the OPD, said earlier, the suspected cases were asked to get the Covid-19 test done, but now they had started rapid antigen testing in the OPD block itself.

Parking lot converted into waiting area for more space

To provide sufficient space to the patients and their attendants, the PGI authorities have converted an entire floor of the multi-level parking lot into a waiting area. Dr Naveen Pandey, Deputy Medical Superintendent of the OPD, PGI, said the waiting area had been created with a seating capacity of 1,000 persons. Every middle seat on a bench for three had been blocked to maintain social distancing. A maximum of 600 patients and their attendants could be seated in the waiting area at any given point of time.

On the first day today, several suspected patients were tested, but none of them was found to be infected, he said.

After the lockdown, the PGI restarted OPD services from November 2 with strict adherence to the Covid-19 guidelines.

Only patients with prior appointment given through tele-consultation were allowed to visit the OPD, that too at a particular time slot. Before sending patients directly to OPDs, the PGI screened them for Covid-19.

Dr Pandey said a team of healthcare workers had been specially trained to screen patients at a designated area near the entrance to the OPD block.

"The doctor stamps the appointment card with red and green colour. A questionnaire is given to the patient and his or her attendant to check Covid-19 symptoms. Those who are found negative are stamped with green colour and sent to their respective OPDs. Patients found symptomatic for Covid-19 are stamped red and tested immediately for the virus," he said.

He said 1,410 patients were screened on November 2, 1,114 on November 3 and around 2,000 patients and their attendants were checked for symptoms on November 5.

Dr Pandey said 15 departments were providing OPD services in the New OPD Block. Patients were being called in hourly slots as mentioned in their appointment cards. Only one attendant was allowed to accompany a patient. The patients and their attendants were asked to wait in the specially created waiting area keeping in view the guidelines issued for maintaining social distancing norms.

"From the waiting area, the patients are sent to their respective OPDs in the batches of 10. There is only one entrance and one exit for the patients, whereas there is a separate entry for the staff," he said.

At any given point of time, only 150 patients and an equal number of attendants were present in the building, he said, adding that the reception had been shifted outside the block. Once a patient entered the OPD block, he or she came out only after completing all procedures, including lab tests and depositing fee.

The PGI authorities had decided to resume OPD services only with prior appointment through tele-consultation.

He said even after the pandemic subsided, tele-consultation would continue to remain the initial point of contact of patients and doctors at the hospital. The patients would be evaluated first through tele-consultation. Only those requiring further examination would be called to the OPD through appointment.

from The Tribune

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