Mumbai: Virus outbreak, prevention and response; General OPD patients in decline
BL Soni / Free Press Journal

Mumbai: Although the number of corona-infected patients have been witnessing a sharp rise in Kasturba Hospital, Bhabha hospital in Bandra, however the number of patients in the general out-patient departments (OPDs) have reduced by over 50 per cent due to the fear of dreaded virus.

The number of patients testing positive is increasing by the hour have been approaching civic-run hospitals. OPDs received over 300 travellers for screening and citizens, and if necessary, they put them in isolation wards. Although the number of patients has increased in BMC hospitals, the condition of the general OPDs is opposite. A decline in the number of patients visiting the general OPDs is being recorded since the virus outbreak.

Even people who were coming to treated for cold, fever, cough, and other seasonal ailments in suburban hospitals, including major hospitals like BYL Nair, Lokmanya Tilak General Hospital (LTMG), Sion hospital and KEM hospital.

On average, 2,500 patients visit the OPDs, but since the outbreak of the corona, these numbers have dipped.

“There has been a drastic drop in number of patients coming to the OPDs over the the last month, and the number of patients has dropped to 1,700-1,800, which was earlier 2,500,” said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, Dean BYL Nair Hospital.

Ditto at the Sion Hospital, where over 6,500 patients visit the OPD, which has been reduced to 5,000 patients daily. “Due to the virus spread, people have themselves stopped visiting the crowded places. We have been seeing a decline of over 50% in the OPD. Currently, we have closed elective surgery and for routine patients of diabetes and hypertension, we call them once in a month and give them medicines after check-ups. Fearing virus, people don’t want to go to crowded places,” said Dr Mohan Joshi, Dean, Sion Hosp.

Also, the number of patients at KEM, another important hospital in Mumbai, has not decreased significantly. “Before the corona outbreak, 7,500-8,500 patients would visit the general old as well as new OPD, which has gradually reduced to 50%. There is a downtrend these days,” said Hemant Deshmukh, Dean, KEM Hospital.

There are 16 suburban hospitals. The number of patients arriving at hospitals in Mumbai has dropped by about 20%.

“The government has asked people to take precautions and made them aware of the dos and don’ts. As a precautionary measure, people are avoiding crowd, resulting in decline in numbers,” said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, Director, Municipal Hospital Group.

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