On 29 February 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom tweeted:

“If you are 60+, or have an underlying condition like cardiovascular disease, a respiratory condition or diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing severe #COVID19. Try to avoid crowded areas, or places where you might interact with people who are sick. #coronavirus”

Some might consider these drastic measures because of the 134 769 recorded cases of COVID19, 70 387 have been cured which puts the recovery rate just above 70%. However, this virus does kill more than 3% of its patients, making it deadlier than the flu, and it continues to mutate. Precautions need to be taken until WHO can ensure no new cases arise.

What does this mean for people over the age of 60, people who have a pre-existing respiratory disease, anyone who has a heart condition or suffers from diabetes? Your immune system is already weaker than most so you need to take extra care in ensuring you don’t get infected. 

The advice that is incredibly important to follow: 

  • Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds under warm water
  • Drying your hands completely (do not air dry)
  • Avoid crowded places and public transport as much as you can
  • The elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, are going to have to stop going to their medical check-ups because clinics, hospitals and doctors’ offices are full of sick people and you’ll need your body to be as strong as possible to protect you against infection.

Evidence from China shows that 15% of any COVID19 patients over 80 have died. The death rate across the other age groups is about 2%. Containing novel coronavirus is just as important as curing all the sick patients, and a lot of that responsibility falls on us as individuals. If you self monitor, you are doing the best you can to protect yourself against infection.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ (keep an eye on this, the stats are updated regularly)

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