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PREFERRED PRACTICE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 1306-1311

Community eye-health and vision center guidelines during COVID-19 pandemic in India


1 Community Ophthalmology, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
2 Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
3 Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi & Secretary, All India Ophthalmological Society, New Delhi, India
4 Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences & Treasurer, All India Ophthalmological Society, New Delhi, India
5 Chairman, Centre for Sight, Delhi & President, All India Ophthalmological Society, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Praveen Vashist
Room No. 788, 7th Floor, Community Ophthalmology, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1527_20

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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted our society on an unprecedented scale since its inception in December 2019. As the health-care system is finally re-organizing to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, it was necessary to re-structure primary eye care (PEC) activities as well on the same lines. A consensus meeting was held with leading eye-care experts on 2nd May 2020 to prepare a roadmap for PEC in the days to come. Guidelines are needed for PEC activities like vision testing, refraction, optical dispensing, counseling, etc., Some of the activities at vision centers (VCs) may be postponed or modified in light of the current pandemic situation. PEC workers need to strictly follow social distancing norms (minimum 3 feet) for minimizing risk of exposure and need access to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), like gloves, masks and shields while examining beneficiaries. For optometrists, sterilization of instruments and encouraging the people to remain silent during the examination is recommended. Because conjunctivitis may be an early sign which can present at VCs, extra precautions in the form of PPE has to be ensured while examining such patients. This is also an opportunity to start running telemedicine clinics for all emergent cases that cannot be managed at the primary level. The guidelines also need to be updated based on the context of the working environment and changes in government directives from time to time.


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