The new COVID-19 virus can cause more severe symptoms in people with a weakened immune system (such as those suffering from cancer, or are on special medication), and older people (generally over the age of 70), especially those with long term conditions like heart disease, poorly controlled diabetes, poorly managed blood pressure and chronic lung disease.
If you fall into any of these categories, you should now take extra steps to protect yourself from germs and infections.
The Department of Public Health recommends the following measures to protect yourself:
Please make sure you do:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel. Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.
- Keep your surfaces at home clean. Wipe them down using detergents regularly.
It is especially important that you:
• DON’T touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• DON’T smoke and make sure you avoid secondhand smoke. This will greatly improve your lung health. If you are a current smoker, consider quitting or switching to vaping, which contains fewer poisonous ingredients.
• DON’T give kisses or hugs or shake anybody’s hand. It is especially important that you avoid direct contact with children. Ask your relatives and friends not to visit you for the time being, and to phone or have video calls via WhatsApp, Facebook or FaceTime to keep in touch.
• DON’T go to large public gatherings.
• DON’T attend the Primary Care Centre or hospital in person. If you need medical support or advice, please call 20052441 or 20072355.
• AVOID public transport.
It is important to emphasise that the above is based on the advice given by public health professionals, whose sole objective is to protect the best interests of the most vulnerable members of our community in the face of COVID-19.