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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol ; 258(7): 1427-1436, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-88497


PURPOSE: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is rapidly emerging as a global health threat. With no proven vaccination or treatment, infection control measures are paramount. In this article, we aim to describe the impact of COVID-19 on our practice and share our strategies and guidelines to maintain a sustainable ophthalmology practice. METHODS: Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) Eye Centre is the only ophthalmology department supporting the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), which is the national screening center and the main center for management of COVID-19 patients in Singapore. Our guidelines during this outbreak are discussed. RESULTS: Challenges in different care settings in our ophthalmology practice have been identified and analyzed with practical solutions and guidelines implemented in anticipation of these challenges. First, to minimize cross-infection of COVID-19, stringent infection control measures were set up. These include personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and routine cleaning of "high-touch" surfaces. Second, for outpatient care, a stringent dual screening and triaging process were carried out to identify high-risk patients, with proper isolation for such patients. Administrative measures to lower patient attendance and reschedule appointments were carried out. Third, inpatient and outpatient care were separated to minimize interactions. Last but not least, logistics and manpower plans were drawn up in anticipation of resource demands and measures to improve the mental well-being of staff were implemented. CONCLUSION: We hope our measures during this COVID-19 pandemic can help ophthalmologists globally and serve to guide and maintain safe access in ophthalmology clinics when faced with similar disease outbreaks.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Ophthalmology/standards , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology