COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Separate respiratory clinics to prevent community transmission

Srinagar, Mar 21:  Stepping up fight against coronavirus, the authorities have set up separate flu clinics for patients with a history of upper respiratory tract infections to prevent the spread of community transmission.

It was observed that patients with a history of upper respiratory tract infections or any travel may expose people to other viruses in the Out Patient Departments of the hospital.

Therefore, separate respiratory or flu clinics were established on Saturday in the hospitals across the valley.

A senior resident at SMHS Hospital said the purpose of the clinics are to expand the hospitals’ ability to screen patients rapidly without leading to community transmission.

“The patients with respiratory symptoms or any travel history will be separated from the other patients, who are also seeking treatment,” the doctor said.

He noted the patients will be evaluated and sent for testing through these clinics. “Further, the clinicians will examine patients under proper respiratory protection gear,” he said.

Another medico at SMHS hospital said the triaging of patients come under the protocols of the World Health Organization.

“Triaging is the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatment based on the severity of their condition. That means if they have reported severe symptoms, the patients will report to the respiratory clinic rather than coming directly into the OPD,” he said.

Earlier, the doctors were entertaining every patient in the Out-Patient Departments until the maiden case of COVID-19 was reported in Kashmir. This sent the alarm bells ringing across the communities.

On Friday, the government issued an order making it mandatory for pneumonia patients to get tested for COVID-19. 

Epidemiologist, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Dr. Manzoor Qadri said the goal is to prevent the virus from spreading by ensuring that patients seek care in the right settings. “The clinics have been expanded to all tertiary care, district, and sub-district hospitals,” Dr. Qadri said.

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When the world fails to make sense, Hirra Azmat seeks solace in words. Both worlds, literary and the physical lend color to her journalism.

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