The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Utilization of Outdoor Services at Secondary Care Hospitals of Punjab, Pakistan

Author

Atiq ur Rahman, Muhammad Imran, Zarmeena Yasmeen and Muzammil Irshad

ABSTRACT
Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the effects of COVID-19 and lockdown on OPD services.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at District Headquarter Hospital (DHQ) and Tehsil Headquarter (THQ) Hospitals of District Layyah. The data was collected from one DHQ hospital and six THQ hospitals. The OPD data of three years (the years 2018 to 2020) was extracted from District Health Information System (DHIS). Trends of outpatients’ flow during months of March and April of three years were taken. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 24.
Results: The COVID-19 pandemic was declared by World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, and all countries started lockdown nationwide which imposed a major impact on all areas of life. Fear of coronavirus spread and lockdown resulted in significant reduction in number of patients at outdoor services. In our study, we analyzed outdoor services of seven hospitals of district Layyah – one DHQ hospital and six THQ hospitals.
Conclusion: Fear of coronavirus spread and lockdown resulted in significant reduction in number of patients at outdoor services.

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