When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out last winter, primary care (PHC) faced a whole new set of challenges in many countries. PHC’s role in this massive project was significant, but actually varied slightly from country to country. The Guardian’s role was paramount as it provided early diagnosis and assistance to people concerned about this pandemic. One of the most important tasks of the POZ was to protect the hospitals from being overburdened.
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In Iceland, PHC operations were completely transformed. Significant changes have been made in the way we communicate with patients during the pandemic. The most indirect communication was via telephone, online consultations and telemedicine. The experiences gained with these means of communication have been generally positive. And will no doubt have an impact on how POZ manages its future relationships with its customers. This is in line with the trend in many other countries [Quote 2].
Another matter to study is the impact of forced isolation of infected people and quarantine of exposed people on the incidence of other infections and antibiotic use, particularly among children.Overuse of antibiotics, and particularly overprescribing of antibiotics to children, is of paramount concern in primary care [citation 3, citation 4]. In Iceland, antibiotic use among children seems to have decreased during the first Covid-19 wave from March to May 2020 [cit.2]. There can be two reasons for this. First, it could simply be due to fewer infections, and second, it could be due to less access to healthcare, which has spent most of its time treating
with Covid-19. The 2-metre social distancing rule was mandatory, and hand-washing and restrictions on public and private gatherings also undoubtedly had an impact.
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The question then arises whether more should be done to prevent the spread of infection among children to reduce the use of antibiotics. Have more hand washing, spraying and other such measures been taken?
There are big differences in how Covid-19 affects individuals and families. In some cases, this has caused significant problems and even increased isolation. The ban on visiting nursing homes has in many cases caused great inconvenience for the residents Parents. On the other hand, foreign travel restrictions had a positive effect on domestic traffic. As a result, Icelanders have drastically cut back foreign travel and instead supported the country’s tourism industry. This means that people know their country better and at the same time spend much less foreign exchange abroad.
At the end of July, another wave of the epidemic began, during which an increase in the number of cases was recorded in many countries. It is not yet clear how and when the Covid-19 pandemic will end. But persistent symptoms are already well known in patients infected with Covid-19, even in patients with mild symptoms of infection.