As the country tries to get back on its feet after months of battling the COVID 19 pandemic through complete lockdown, the threat still looms large. Among other things, the lockdown prevented many patients from sticking to their non-Coronavirus treatments. Now, as the unlocking is in process, there are still some precautions to be kept in mind.
"Experts had already warned people with chronic diseases to take utmost precautions during the pandemic. Unlock 3.0 will now allow patients with chronic diseases to resume their much awaited treatment. Expecting the footfall, all major hospitals such as ourselves have already taken necessary measures to ensure that the OPDs are running in a complete safe and secure environment for the treatment of Non-COVID patients. However, at the same time, the patients too need to ensure certain precautions and protocols while venturing out and visiting the hospitals," says Dr Deepak Patkar, Director, Medical Services, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital.
Dr Patkar adds that at the same time, the patients too need to ensure certain precautions and protocols while venturing out and visiting the hospitals. Most important of those is to wear a mask at all times and ensure social distancing. So, here's his advice to people venturing to hospitals for regular treatments:
Masks are a must, gloves, not so much
He adds that the most important step is to wear a mask at all times and ensure social distancing. "All surface areas of the hospitals are continuously cleaned and sanitized as per international safety standards. But its best to carry a small bottle of sanitizer with yourself and avoid touching any surfaces during your time at the hospital. Also minimal contact with the doctor and staff of the hospital will ensure both; you and the healthcare workers remain safe and healthy. A number of people wearing gloves has also increased substantially since the start of the pandemic but our expertise taught us that the gloves only increase your chances of self-infection."
"It’s advisable to consult online or telephonically and fix the appointment before visiting the hospital. A quick call to the hospital will ensure the timing of your visit is good. Reaching out in some way to the hospital also gives them a chance to communicate any special instructions for the visit."
"Many a times we come across patients who at times fail to carry necessary documents and reports. Being organized will allow you a detailed conversation with the doctor within your stipulated appointment time."
Sanitize when you return
"To ensure your house remains a safe place, its necessary that upon reaching home, you sanitize yourself and your shoes, phone, keys and other things that you carried to the hospital and thereafter disinfect and clean any surfaces or things you might have accidentally touched. It’s advisable to soak your clothes in detergent and take a warm water bath, upon your return."
Follow mask hygiene
"Not to mention, if you were wearing a three ply surgical mask or cloth mask, it’s better to discard the same safely. In case of an N-95 mask, you can secure it in a plastic pouch and keep it in a safe place away from children’s reach. Moreover, despite all possible precautions, if you experience any symptoms such as fever, cough, breathless etc. immediately call the doctor and follow the instructions."