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Amidst the global pandemic of COVID 2019, All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) has issued its operational guidelines for the safe practice of ophthalmic services at this juncture of time in order to help protect eye health providers and in response to the growing needs of our global eye health community.
Following precautionary measures as advised by the Government of India, all the patients entering the hospital must wear a mask and wash their hands and follow the social distancing measures.
"Advisory has been issued to avoid any nasal endoscopic procedures or any procedure that will otherwise have a bearing on the loss of vision, eye or life. While all OPD's will have thermal screening desks, patients, doctors and staff are always advised to wear masks. Routine outpatients consultations and elective surgeries have been asked to postpone by at least 4 weeks, AIOS has also recommended all the ophthalmologists to provide urgent and emergent care only." Said Dr Mahipal Singh Sachdev, President AIOS
As Ophthalmologists and eye-health teams work in close proximity to their patients as part of the eye examinations and treatment, and they are at particularly high risk of being exposed to the virus and contracting COVID-19, and hence AIOS has advised its members that only emergency eye care services shall be provided in case of need.
"While the healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 are highly vulnerable to infection, AIOS recommends the use of hydroxy-chloroquine for prophylaxis of SARS -CoV-2 infections for them. The protocol recommended by the National Task Forces has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for restricted use in emergency situations. Their protection and that of patients is critical due to the rapid spread of coronavirus. The AIOS stands with the recommendations regarding public health safety related to COVID-19 issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India" said Dr Namrata Sharma, Hony, General Secretary, AIOS.
With inputs from CNN Media Services