Background: The Impact of COVID-19 pandemic over non-essential health services has been massive. We initiated Influenza Like Illness (ILI) screening for resumption of out-patient services at a tertiary care centre and this study attempted to gauge its efficacy in effectively pruning out COVID-19.
Methods: We included all the patients who had visited for an OPD appointment during the study period. Patient details and ILI symptoms were noted. Patients were then followed up telephonically after 2 weeks. The telephonic follow up was to ensure RT-PCR status and complaints of any newly developed ILI post OPD visit (within the last 14 days).
Results: Out of the 957 patients who were enrolled, 929 patients were successfully followed up telephonically after 14 days. Only 13 who were screened out as ‘possible ILI’, were either RT-PCR negative or did not follow up with a confirmatory test. The telephonic follow up to ensure RT-PCR status and complaints of any newly developed ILI post OPD visit (within the last 14 days) was noted in the rest of the patients. Only 1 participant out of 957 screened, tested positive for COVID-19.
The period in which the study was held the national positivity rate was low (around 3%). Therefore, in a resource limited country such as India it is astute to restart the OPD services in the pre-existing setup using basic precautions and a verbal questionnaire during the slope of the pandemic.