COVID-19 update and press conference – February 4, 2021. (PMO)

Persons with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have been advised to make sure that they are taking their medications and following their doctors’ prescribed medical plan for managing their diseases.

With a quarter of Barbados’ population having NCDs, it has been stated that those persons are at a higher risk of becoming severely ill if they contract COVID-19, especially if they are not keeping their conditions under control.

During this evening’s COVID-19 update press conference, Deputy Dean of Internationalisation and Recruitment, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Dr. Kenneth Connell, gave some advice to persons with NCDs to help manage their risk against contracting COVID-19.

Dr. Connell advised that if persons have high blood pressure, diabetes, are overweight, or taking a medication that weakens their immune systems, they should “monitor that chronic disease”. 

“If it’s blood pressure, take your blood pressure daily. If it’s your blood sugar, check your blood sugar. If you’ve forgotten the last time that you made a doctor’s visit, see your doctor and make sure the plan that you’re on is appropriate and that your control is also appropriate,” he urged.

In addition, the Internal Medicine Specialist encouraged persons with NCDs to engage in physical activity even though the country is presently in a period of lockdown.

Dr. Connell also stressed that if persons with non-communicable diseases did not control them, their outcome would be worse if they were to contract COVID-19. 

“So therefore, it is vitally important that you take your prescribed medication, that you get in your exercise, … and that you make sure that you are aligned with your doctors or healthcare providers plan for managing that disease.”

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