Despite the dip in the number of Covid-19 infections, full outpatient department services will not resume at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and physical patient consultations will be limited, it has been learnt.

However, the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32 will start limited physical consultation in four more departments from Thursday.

PGIMER authorities had said early in November that the situation would be reviewed after Diwali since an infection surge was feared. “We have decided to wait for some more time before taking any decision on (opening the OPDs). We are expecting the number of cases fall to below 50 per day and that period will be more conducive for reopening the OPDs to full strength. For now, we may increase the number of physical consultations being provided after telephonic sessions,” said professor Jagat Ram, director, PGIMER.

The OPDs were completely shut down on March 19, a day after the first Covid-19 case surfaced in the city. The institute then shifted focus to teleconsultation services.

“Teleconsultations can be a part of the medical services. However, though we need to go back to the earlier system as soon as possible, we cannot risk the lives of patients as well as attendants,” prof Jagat Ram added.

PGIMER provides services to patients from the adjoining regions as well, with 10,000 OPD consultations logged in a day often during normal times. The campus almost sees a footfall of around 25,000 persons daily, mainly from Punjab and Haryana.

According to GMCH-32 hospital spokesperson Anil Moudgil: “Urology, neurosurgery, plastic surgery and cardiothoracic and vascular surgery will restart from Thursday, with online and telemedicine registration done from December 2.”

At present, 12 OPDs at GMCH-32 that are operating with restrictions are: Paediatric, pulmonary medicine, psychiatry, radiotherapy, obstetrics, gynaecology, psychiatry, radiotherapy, physiotherapy and dermatology, surgery and medicine.

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