Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache is reminding the public that certain groups of persons should be especially careful not to contract COVID-19, as they are more likely to have poor outcomes.
“The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment wants to remind the public about those groups of people who would be particularly vulnerable to having poor outcomes when they become infected with COVID-19.
“Those persons are who have chronic non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic renal disease, sickle cell anaemia, also persons who might have SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), any disease that persons have to deal with for a prolonged period of time that cannot be cured but rather controlled,” Keizer-Beache said on Monday, as the country recorded its second COVID-19 death.
“And therefore, it is extremely important that those persons with such conditions maintain good control of the conditions as possible. If you are diabetic, please do not forget your medication, please stick with your diet, please continue to exercise as possible.”
On Friday, Justina Pompey, 49, became the country’s first COVID-19 fatality, followed, on Monday, by an 80-year-old man.
Keizer-Beache said Pompey had diabetes and hypertension and presented to health professionals in a very unstable state, while the male patient had chronic non-communicable diseases.
She said that persons who are hypertensive should continue to take their medication and make sure their blood pressure is well controlled, including using diet and exercise.
“Additionally, such persons should be very careful about going out and about and should not do that without wearing a mask at all times. Family members of such persons also need to be very careful when they are out and about, about wearing a mask.
“That way, they can protect their loved ones so that they don’t get it (COVID-19), they don’t bring it into the home,” Keizer-Beache said.
The CMO said there are other interventions that can be used.
“While in the home, if you are particularly worried, if you feel you might have been exposed to COVID-19 and you have a loved one in the home who is elderly, who has non-communicable diseases such as diabetes or hypertension, you should continue to use your mask in the home whenever you are close to such persons or when you’re taking care of those persons, if those person need your assistance for their daily activities.”
She further said that health care workers are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
“And even as we use our protective gear, our masks, our shields, we wash our hands, because we are particularly exposed in terms of the number of persons we see, we have to be extremely careful. And so to protect everyone, as healthcare workers, we ask that the public you wear your mask. By wearing your mask, you are protecting yourself, you are also protecting us. It is extremely important.”
She urged everyone to comply with the protocols that call for the wearing of masks in public spaces, adding that this should also be done in private spaces, if necessary.
“We all decrease our close contacts in terms of when we’re interacting with persons; stay as far away as can be. For persons who must come out, please wear your masks, do your distancing, cleanse your hands as much as possible. For those who can stay home, that will be the best if you don’t have to go out to work,” Keizer-Beache said.