Health Minister Cautions Bahamians With Noncommunicable Diseases Amid COVID-19 Surge
Dr. Duane Sands said Bahamians with non-communicable diseases at greatest risk of death
Minister of Health Duane Sands emphasized the need for Bahamians who suffer from noncommunicable diseases to exercise extreme caution as the country faces a surge in COVID-19 cases.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Dr. Duane Sands said, “Two in five Bahamians have three or more noncommunicable diseases.
“That means if a person contracts COVID-19, and he has hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, this person can die.”
COVID19 attacks the respiratory system, affecting the throat and lungs.
Sands said based on the behavior of the virus, “if you are unable to receive sufficient oxygen, your body’s ability to manage conditions such as asthma, heart disease, hypertension or diabetes will decrease. This means your body is unable to fight back and again, it can mean death,” he said.
He continued, “I am taking the time to articulate this to you because as a nation, 47 percent of our population suffers from high blood pressure; 26 percent of us have diabetes.
“My fellow Bahamians, The Bahamas continues to rank among the most obese nations in the region of the Americas and on planet earth,” he said.
Sands gave these recommendations for persons who suffer from non-communicable diseases, or who are 60 years old and over:
1. Take your medication and follow medical advice.
2. Secure at least one-month supply of your medication or longer if possible.
3. Keep a distance of at least six feet from others when in public.
4. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing or when in public.
5. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based sanitizer.
6. Eat healthy meals, which include a variety of fruits and vegetables.
7. Keep physically active and get adequate rest.
8. Quit smoking and stay away from anyone who is smoking.
9. Avoid using coping strategies that involve alcohol or drugs.
10. Talk to others about how you are feeling. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can boost your immunity and help prevent you from being seriously affected or ill.