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Cureus ; 13(12): e20437, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579841


Background The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the largest global healthcare crises in nearly a century. To face this global health emergency, health institutions have had to readjust their functioning while ensuring the continuity of care and protecting medical staff and patients. Our aim in this study was to assess the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on family medicine and its practice in Saudi Arabia. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted during the period from June 30, 2020, to July 20, 2020, by posting an online survey on social media platforms (WhatsApp and Twitter) and emailing physicians individually to collect data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on family medicine and primary care practices during the period of lockdown in Saudi Arabia. Results A total of 382 primary healthcare (PHC) providers participated in the study (males: 213 (55.8%); females: 169 (44.2%)). The mean age and standard deviation of the population were 38.27±7.46. Most participants were from governmental health sectors. Participants revealed that they have a good level of knowledge regarding COVID-19. However, they indicated confusion regarding the knowledge due to changing recommendations or multiple-source information. Only 57.3% of respondents received relevant training on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The most frequently used PPE were surgical masks (100%) and gloves (98.4%). The highly protective N95 masks were used by only 55.7%. Many health care workers indicated a high rate of stress and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic. Data obtained are suggestive that there was a reduction in outpatient visits and a reduction in consultation time. Canceled physical examinations of the patients during the consultation were encountered most of the time. There was no shortage of medications, nasopharyngeal swabs, or sanitizers. However, an occasional lack of PPEs occurred. 64.4% of the respondents used online consultations with their patients. A shortage of health care workers during the pandemic in family medicine clinics was encountered by 63.3% of the participants. Conclusion Family medicine practices are adversely affected by pandemics and lockdowns following them. It has been reported that COVID-19 interferes with preventive, chronic, and acute care visits and increases mental health visits. Outpatient visits have also decreased as well as the amount of time spent in consultations. In addition, the transition from in-person clinics to telemedicine has happened. Perhaps these changes will delay the diagnosis and prescription refills.

J Infect Public Health ; 14(7): 832-838, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265761


BACKGROUND: Estimated seroprevalence of Coronavirus Infectious Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a critical evidence for a better evaluation of the virus spread and monitoring the progress of COVID-19 pandemic in a population. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence has been reported in specific regions, but an extensive nationwide study has not been reported. Here, we report a nationwide study to determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the population of KSA during the pandemic, using serum samples from healthy blood donors, non-COVID patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) in six different regions of the kingdom, with addition samples from COVID-19 patients. METHODS: A total of 11,703 serum samples were collected from different regions of the KSA including; 5395 samples from residual healthy blood donors (D); 5877 samples from non-COVID patients collected through residual sera at clinical biochemistry labs from non-COVID patients (P); and 400 samples from consented HCWs. To determine the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2, all serum samples, in addition to positive control sera from RT-PCR confirmed COVID-19 patients, were subjected to in-house ELISA with a sample pooling strategy, which was further validated by testing individual samples that make up some of the pools, with a statistical estimation method to report seroprevalence estimates. RESULTS: Overall (combining D and P groups) seroprevalence estimate was around 11% in Saudi Arabia; and was 5.1% (Riyadh), 1.5% (Jazan), 18.4% (Qassim), 20.8% (Hail), 14.7% (ER; Alahsa), and 18.8% in Makkah. Makkah samples were only D group and had a rate of 24.4% and 12.8% in the cities of Makkah and Jeddah, respectively. The seroprevalence in Saudi Arabia across the sampled areas would be 12 times the reported COVID-19 infection rate. Among HCWs, 7.5% (4.95-10.16 CI 95%) had reactive antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 without reporting any previously confirmed infection. This was higher in HCWs with hypertension. The study also presents the demographics and prevalence of co-morbidities in HCWs and subset of non-COVID-19 population. INTERPRETATION: Our study estimates the overall national serological prevalence of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia to be 11%, with an apparent disparity between regions. This indicates the prevalence of asymptomatic or mild unreported COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Pandemics , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies