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COVID-19: NCDC rolls out more preventive measures for vulnerable groups

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has added more preventive measures against COVID-19 for the vulnerable groups in Nigeria, that is, people with considerably higher risk of having complications from the disease.

The NCDC, in its updated advisory, stressed that’s it was important that people with underlying health immuno-compromised conditions take extra precautions to protect themselves due to their weakened immune system which puts them at a higher risk of infection.

NCDC urged the vulnerable, including persons aged 50 years and older with or without underlying illnesses; persons with critical underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, lung disease, liver disease, moderate to severe asthma and other persons who have been assessed as vulnerable based on clinical assessment, to avoid contact greetings even with family members.

Other measures include washing their hands regularly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based sanitiser, if no water and soap is available.

“Avoiding contact with anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19. Avoiding non-essential outings and visitors. If you must go out, always wear a face mask in public and maintain at least 2 metres (5 feet) of physical distance between yourself and other individuals.

“Ensure you have an adequate supply of the medication needed to manage your condition while you stay at home. If possible, consider having your medicines, groceries and essential items delivered to your home by a designated family member, friend, or delivery person who complies with recommended measures including physical distancing, face mask use and frequent hand hygiene,” NCDC said.

The NCDC also advised the vulnerable to avoid large gatherings and crowded spaces such as open markets, crowded supermarkets, and pharmacies

“If you have to work, discussing and agreeing your options with your employer to enable you work from home or make changes within the office space to keep you and your colleagues protected, Staying protected when living with others,” it said.

The disease-control agency advised that vulnerable groups who live in a shared house or flat must ensure that if they share a toilet and bathroom with others, they are cleaned after each use, and where possible, draw up a roster for bathing, and ensure they use the bathroom first at the start of each day.

“Encourage frequent handwashing with soap and water by all other household members and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, e.g., door handles, light switches, TV remotes. throughout the day.

“Keep shared spaces well ventilated and minimise the time spent in shared enclosed spaces, such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas. Where possible, sleep in a different bed and endeavour to maintain physical distancing even within the household.

“Do not share towels and beddings or use commonly shared household items including cutlery, drinking cups etc,” NCDC said.

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