Covid-19 has afflicted people of all ages in more than 100 countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), however, evidence suggests that two groups of people are at a “higher risk” of getting severe disease:

  • older people (people over 60 years old)
  • those with underlying medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer).

“The risk of severe disease gradually increases with age starting from around 40 years. It’s important that adults in this age range protect themselves and in turn protect others that may be more vulnerable,” the WHO said in its March 11, 2020 situation report.

The latest WHO advice seeks to ensure that these two groups are protected “without being isolated, stigmatized, left in a position of increased vulnerability or unable to access basic provisions and social care.”

“It is essential that these groups are supported by their communities during the COVID-19 outbreak. WHO emphasizes that all people must protect themselves from Covid-19, which will also protect others.”

Here is the WHO’s key advice for older adults and people with pre-existing conditions:

  • When you have visitors to your home, exchange “1-meter greetings”, like a wave, nod, or bow.
  • Ask visitors and those you live with to wash their hands.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces in your home, especially areas that people touch a lot.
  • If someone you live with isn’t feeling well (especially with possible Covid-19 symptoms), limit your shared spaces.
  • If you become ill with symptoms of Covid-19, contact your healthcare provider by telephone before visiting your healthcare facility.
  • Make a plan in preparation for an outbreak of Covid-19 in your community.
  • When you go out in public, follow the same preventative guidelines as you would at home.
  • Stay up to date using information from reliable sources.

Source: WHO (