Impact of the Pandemic COVID-19 on Digestive Endoscopic Activity: Experience of a Moroccan Service

Sair Asmae, Mrabti Samir, Benhamdane Ahlame, Tarik Addajou, Reda Berraida, Sentissi Sara, Elkoti Ilhame, Rouibaa Fedoua, Benkirane Ahmed, Seddik Hassan


Objectives: In Morocco, in order to prepare health facilities for the upcoming influx of COVID-19 patients, it was necessary to minimize non-COVID-19 related activities, which led to a significant reduction of non-urgent procedures. The aim of the study was to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the digestive endoscopic activity in our department by comparing it to the previous year. Study design: This was a retrospective study.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study, comparing endoscopic procedures performed (excluding emergencies) in both 2019 and 2020, especially the periods from March 20 to June 30 (lockdown period). Statistical analysis was performed by SPSS 21.0 software.

Results: 5018 endoscopy procedures were performed in 2019 and 2020, but only 1869 performed in 2020. For the lockdown period, a large decrease in the number of patients undergoing endoscopy was seen in 2020 compared with 2019 (179 vs 863). Gastroscopy, colonoscopy, and rectosigmoidoscopy volumes experienced a 59%, 53%, and 67% reduction, respectively. A reduction of 50% in the number of echo-endoscopy was also seen, especially during the lockdown period 11 versus 21 in 2019 (p = 0.006), whereas the number of ERCPs remained relatively unchanged, with 22 during the lockdown period versus 29 in 2019 (p < 0.001). We also compared the different endoscopy procedures performed during the post-lockdown period compared to the same period in 2019.

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on endoscopy services, its staff and especially on patients following the reduction and limitation of endoscopy indications and procedures.


COVID-19 pandemic; Endoscopy activity; Lockdown

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