Starting Tuesday, AIIMS will not cater to any patient coming to the OPD, including new as well as follow-up patients, to avoid any form of community transmission in the wake of rising coronavirus cases. “All OPD services (including super-specialty services) inter-alia all new as well as follow-up patients’ registration in AIIMS hospital and all centres will remain closed from Tuesday till further notice,” stated an order by medical superintendent Dr D K Sharma. The country’s top medical institute sees over 15,000 patients in its OPD every day.
On Sunday, the government issued orders for a complete lockdown in 75 districts, including Delhi, in the country.
On March 18, the medical institute had sent an advisory to OPD patients, requesting them to postpone appointments.
The hospital had already curtailed elective surgeries since March 20.
The move, however, has left families of patients from states such as UP and Bihar stranded and many are either staying in shelters outside or on the streets.
Shambhu Ram (53), a farmer from Basantpur in Bihar, had come to Delhi with his family for the treatment of his six-year-old granddaughter Ragini, who has leukemia. “We have been here since March 17… Doctors now say we should get her treated elsewhere,” he said.
Salma Khatun (35), whose baby suffers from a neurological ailment, said: “I have been getting Ayaan treated here for six months. we arrived here from UP’s Gorakhpur on March 21. We usually go back home immediately by train.” With her child due to be operated on in a fortnight, Khatun said they have no option but to stay in a shelter.
Jai Pratap Singh (47) from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, who is getting his 16-year-old son treated for a spinal injury, said: “My son had an operation just yesterday and they have discharged him from the ICU. We have no option but wait at the shelter for now.”
Complaining about hygiene at the shelter, he said, “We get food and the beds are fine. But there has been no water in the toilet for four days, and it is very dirty.”
Other hospitals have already restricted services. Elective surgeries in Lok Nayak, Safdarjung, GB Pant and Guru Nanak Eye Centre have been cancelled.
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