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Over 3000 healthcare workers (HCW) in China are suspected of having coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and over 1700 tested positive.1 These statistics underline the need for robust preventative measures against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Endoscopy departments are fertile grounds for viral spread because aerosolisation of bodily secretions occurs during procedures. A single viral-shedding patient with a high viral load can contaminate an entire endoscopy room with the virus that remains viable for up to 3 days, putting uninfected patients and HCWs at risk.2 3
Singapore previously had the largest cohort of COVID-19 patients outside China in the early phases of the outbreak. Given its novelty, the effectiveness of new preventative measures implemented within our endoscopy services was unknown. To determine best practice, we conducted systematic searches of literature and official websites for gastroenterology and endoscopy societies (n=28) in the 15 most-affected countries to scrutinise recommendations and associated evidence. Methodology is available on request.
In summary, we found careful patient selection was commonly …
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