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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 388-389

Has COVID-19 changed long-term clinical practice – The new abnormal?

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Northern Railway Central Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Oculoplasty and Paediatric Ophthalmology Services, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission14-Jun-2021
Date of Acceptance15-Jun-2021
Date of Web Publication08-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sahil Agrawal
Oculoplasty, Ocular Oncology and Peadiatric Ophthalmology Services, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kjo.kjo_141_21

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How to cite this article:
Gupta S, Agrawal S. Has COVID-19 changed long-term clinical practice – The new abnormal?. Kerala J Ophthalmol 2021;33:388-9

How to cite this URL:
Gupta S, Agrawal S. Has COVID-19 changed long-term clinical practice – The new abnormal?. Kerala J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 17];33:388-9. Available from: http://www.kjophthal.com/text.asp?2021/33/3/388/331927

Dear Sir,

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 officially as a pandemic after casking through 114 countries in 3 months and infecting over 118,000 people with an incessant spread ever since.[1] Pandemics have large-scale outbreaks of infectious disease with a high morbidity and mortality load across the globe and cause significant economic, social, and political disruption. COVID-19 is caused by a new strain that was not previously found in humans. It has been straining health systems worldwide and is expected to cause an economic recession matchless in a recent history.[2]

In the causatum of COVID-19, there will be significant lined up demand for health-care services. This pandemic has put the notoriety on digital health tools such as telehealth and remote monitoring as health-care professionals had to swivel to technology to take care of patients quickly. Thereby making digital health from a “nice to have” to a must-have. Even in remote places of a geographically diverse country, the increased use of technology and opening up telemedicine will improve access to health care. Innovations of at-home diagnostic equipment will enhance the ability of professionals to do remote virtual care. In addition to virtual checkups, hospitals and clinics will stick COVID-era operations, visitor, and design protocols together long, well after the pandemic.

As emergent takes pre-eminence over critical, the entire system is likely to miss opportunities for timely diagnosis and treatment of other diseases due to the focus on prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and containment of the pandemic. Patients with chronic disease, keeping on one's toes of going out, or facing difficulties in migrating due to lockdown restriction might end up with long-term sequelae because of missing on treatment. These will raise the overall burden of diseases in a region to a certain extent by eventually raising the possibility of complications and worsening the disease.

Health systems will recognize and consider that patients may not want to get surgery in a hospital; they will need to be reassured that it is safe to enter hospitals and other health-care facilities. For those who have put off elective surgeries and procedures, some organizations with ambulatory surgery centers will start providing patients with the option to have their surgery in such places.

Another significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been on how patients work and live with social distancing measures. With that in mind, there will be advancements in drones and robotics in the consumer world including delivering medicines to reduce the number of people who interact with other people.

Public current concerns with personal hygiene maintenance, using mainly nose/mouth protection, anti-infections material for environment and clothing, and hand sanitizers, will go a long way. This consumption may remain in behavioral reflexes of the public, globally, and locally, with the pandemic's extended period.

Thus, as we face this prodigious confrontation and focus consummating through with minimum gnaw to human lives, health-care scenario, and clinical practice have to go a long way to unravel ulterior opportunities. Has COVID-19 changed long-term clinical practice? Yes absolutely, and by identifying these changes and impacts, may guide health-care professionals in evidence-informed devising and decision-making to tackle associated challenges.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

WHO Director-General's Opening Remarks at the Media Briefing on COVID-19-11 March, 2020. WHO Newsletters. Published 11 March, 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/director-general/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020. [Last accessed on 2021 Mar 25].  Back to cited text no. 1
Shereen MA, Khan S, Kazmi A, Bashir N, Siddique R. COVID-19 infection: Origin, transmission, and characteristics of human coronaviruses. J Adv Res 2020;24:91-8.  Back to cited text no. 2


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