Wash your hands, stay home: Health Ministry issues advisory for senior citizens

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 30, 2020

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Elderly people are at a higher risk of coronavirus infection, it says

The Union Health Ministry has issued a health advisory, listing “dos” and “don’ts” for reducing the transmission of the coronavirus among the elderly population.

The advisory said globally, Covid-19 has impacted several lives and is steadily increasing its reach.

While the Indian government has taken stringent actions to contain the spread of the coronavirus, including a nationwide lockdown, it is also critical for each one of us to follow the protocols and take necessary measures and precautions to break the chain of transmission of the disease, it added.

“Elderly people are at a higher risk of Covid-19 infection due to their decreased immunity and body reserves, as well as multiple associated comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Also, course of disease tends to be more severe in case of elderlies, resulting in higher mortality,” the advisory stated.

What to do?

The Ministry advised the elderly people to wash their hands and face with soap at regular intervals, stay at home, avoid meeting visitors at home and if such a meeting is essential, maintain a distance of at least one metre.

It asked them to ensure proper nutrition through home-cooked, fresh, hot meals, hydrate frequently and take fresh juices to boost immunity.

The “dos” also include exercising, taking the daily prescribed medicines regularly, postponing elective surgeries (if any) like cataract surgery or total knee replacement and cleaning frequently-touched surfaces with a disinfectant.

“If you develop fever, cough and/or breathing difficulty, immediately contact nearest healthcare facility and follow the medical advice rendered,” the advisory said.

It also listed some “don’ts”, including not coughing or sneezing into bare hands or without covering the face and not going near people suffering from fever and cough.

It advised them against self-medicating and going to hospital for routine check-ups or follow-ups. “As far as possible, make tele-consultation with your healthcare provider. Don’t go to crowded places like parks, markets and religious places and don’t go out unless it is absolutely essential,” it said.

Published on March 30, 2020

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