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National Eye Centre shutdown 80 percent services over COVID-19 pandemic

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Chief Medical Director of the Centre, Dr. Mahmud Alhassan said, the hospital is now just attending to real ophthalmic emergencies like severe infections from popular injuries.

In a chat with newsmen on Saturday, Dr. Alhassan said, the hospital is implementing the universal protection since it does not have vaccine and it cannot implement point of care assessment of testing for COVID-19.

According to the CMD, hand washing, social distancing and selves protection with good face masks, were the strategies they are working around to prevent transmission of the virus in the hospital

Dr. Alhassan said, “We have also strategised our operations as follows; the high risk, devoted risk and low risk areas, and the appropriate Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) for these areas are being provided for people who work in this high risk areas. Same for patients who come from high risk areas, we’ll have to provide them special protection.”

On eye related symptoms of COVID-19, he revealed that the eye symptoms that can transmit the virus can come out from the tears without symptoms. So the general public must be aware that COVID-19 can present first with eye signs and symptoms.

On safety of the patients that come to the hospital Dr. Alhassan maintained that “we have virtually shut down almost 80 per cent of our activities and we are just attending to real ophthalmic emergencies; things like severe infections from popular injuries. So, that is where we are now hoping that as the days go by and the world better understand the disease we will be able to now institute strategies on how to reopen the hospital when we are sure of safety of our patients.”

Speaking on dangers of COVID-19 Alhassan maintained that “We will be bringing in new protocols that will further assure that patients and caregivers are safe; because it would be a serious disaster to bring in Covid-19 into this place because eye care involves various kinds of care.

“Like in the National Eye Centre if you come here at least a patient would need to go to four or five different service points; and it would be very disastrous for a COVID-19 positive patient to come here who is not detected and just move around our facility and then dropping viruses anywhere he goes.

“So that is it universal protection! That is what we are going to implement. We have very experienced doctors and nurses at their emergency rooms, we will look at the situation and if it reveals emergency, we will attend to them,” he explained.

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