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Strengthening the prevention of COVID-19 for the elderly

Update: March, 19/2020 - 16:42

Doctors from Sài Gòn Eyes Hospital provide free eye tests for the elderly in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has asked provinces and cities nationwide to strengthen the prevention of COVID-19 for the elderly on Thursday.

The move was put forward in response to the development of COVID-19 across the country and worldwide. 

The People's Committees of provinces and cities are requested to urgently direct relevant agencies take specific measures to strengthen prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic for the elderly, people with underlying diseases and other high risk groups.

Localities are requested to count and strictly manage the health of the elderly, especially people with underlying medical conditions and other high-risk groups

Families of elderly people, people with underlying medical conditions and high-risk groups are recommended to minimise going out to public areas and contact with others. When experiencing health problems, they must immediately contact the commune health department, ward or family doctor. 

They should visit medical facilities only in cases of real necessity or emergency, medical examination and treatment (out of drugs, dose adjustment required) and always use a mask and disinfect their hands when they go out.

The committee also suggested health facilities to provide medicine for treatment of chronic diseases for a longer time (at least two months) to the elderly, people with diseases and other high risk groups. 

Localities are required to implement electronic medical declarations or electronic records, of which priority should be given to the declaration for people aged 60 and older and people with underlying medical conditions, non-communicable diseases or other high risk groups.

The elderly are Vietnamese citizens who are 60 years of age or older, according to the Law on the Elderly.

Health experts said that the elderly face several disadvantages in declining abilities to cope with infectious diseases and adapt to the environment due to the decrease of lung capacity, narrowing of chest wall, reduction of mucous membranes and weak coughing force. So, the elderly are susceptible to respiratory infections and cardiac hypertrophy. Older people are more likely to get more diseases at the same time.

A study by the National Geriatrics Hospital showed that the average number of disease among the elderly is 2.6 and for people over 80 years old, this figure is 6.8. — VNS

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