Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic and National Lockdown on Hospital Attendance of Various Infectious Disease Patients at an Apex Infectious Disease Hospital of Eastern India

Document Type : Original Article


1 Community Medicine, ID and BG Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

2 Department of Cardiology, RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

3 Department of Community Medicine, NRS Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

4 Department of Community Medicine, Dr. BC Roy Multi-Speciality Medical Research Centre, IIT Kharagpur, West Bengal, India



To find out variation in hospital attendance and admission for various infectious diseases (IDs) during the national lockdown as compared to prelockdown era.
Materials and Methods: 
This observational descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at a state-level ID hospital in West Bengal. Data related to the turnout of ID patients at the hospital outpatient department and indoor admission during the lockdown and unlock phases of 2020 were collected by review of hospital records and compared with the pre-COVID period of 2019. Collected data were entered into an MS Excel sheet, and analysis was performed by SPSS 20.0.
Since April 2020, inpatient and outpatient turnout has gone far below the similar months of 2019. Outpatient consultation, indoor admission, anti-rabies clinic attendance, and childhood immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases had decreased significantly by 66.9%, 84.3%, 87%, and 85.2%, respectively, during lockdown (April–June 2020) compared to January–March 2020. Dramatic reduction noticed in hospital admission of diarrhea (93%), measles (96.5%), chicken pox (99.2%), acute respiratory illness (93.9%), diphtheria (66.7%), rabies (66.6%), and typhoid (98.2%) patients; while no cases of tetanus, swine flu, meningococcal meningitis, and mumps were admitted during lockdown period.
It is evidenced that measures put in place by the government to curb COVID-19 spread disrupted other ID patient attendance at hospitals. Stigma and fear of contracting COVID-19 during hospital visits and unavailability of transport due to lockdown could be the main reason for reduced attendance.


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