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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 304-308

Year 1 of COVID-19 pandemic in India: Effect of lockdown and unlock on the presentation of patients with ocular and periocular tumors at a referral center


1 Department of Eye Smart EMR and AEye; Indian Health Outcomes, Public Health and Economics Research Center, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Ocular Oncology Services, The Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer (SK), L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Swathi Kaliki
The Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad - 500 034, Telangana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ojo.ojo_273_21

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PURPOSE: The purpose of the study is to describe the impact of lockdown and unlock phases of the COVID-19 pandemic on the presentation of ocular and periocular tumors at a referral center in India. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional, hospital-based study included 5811 patients presenting between March 25, 2017, and March 31, 2021. The data on the patients diagnosed with ocular and periocular tumors in one or both eyes presenting during the lockdown and unlock phases were compared with the respective time periods in the previous 3 years before COVID-19. RESULTS: The patient numbers dropped by 85% (45/295) of pre-COVID-19 volumes during the lockdown phase. This was mainly because of a 33% reduction in patients requiring inter-state travel. There was complete recovery of the outpatient numbers to 105% (139/132) of pre-COVID-19 volumes by March 2021. This gradual incremental trend was seen in patients with malignant tumors (145%) and was lower in those with benign tumors (89%) than pre-COVID-19 volumes by March 2021. There was an increase in the patients presenting with malignant tumors (49%; P = 0.45) during the lockdown phase. The proportion of patients requiring inter-state travel showed a near-complete recovery to 88% of pre-COVID-19 distribution by March 2021. CONCLUSION: The 1st year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a significant decline in the number of patients presenting with ocular and periocular tumors. There was an increase in the proportion of malignant tumors and a decrease in benign tumors during the lockdown phase. During unlock period, there was a near-complete recovery in the patients requiring inter-state travel to access eye care services.


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