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  • Professor of Public Health and Ageing at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Professor Denise Eldemire-Shearer, is imploring senior citizens to do all that is necessary to ensure that they do not contract the coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • She pointed out that the elderly are more susceptible to the virus and are at a greater risk of severe illness.
  • “In the body, their immune system is less efficient than yours. And not only that, but the cells in the body are also diminished. So once they get this infection, the likelihood of it ravishing their body is high. And then you have these other chronic diseases that are also going to decrease their abilities, so the best way to not have the problems of COVID-19 is to avoid them,” she said.

Professor of Public Health and Ageing at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Professor Denise Eldemire-Shearer, is imploring senior citizens to do all that is necessary to ensure that they do not contract the coronavirus (COVID-19).

She pointed out that the elderly are more susceptible to the virus and are at a greater risk of severe illness.

“In the body, their immune system is less efficient than yours. And not only that, but the cells in the body are also diminished. So once they get this infection, the likelihood of it ravishing their body is high. And then you have these other chronic diseases that are also going to decrease their abilities, so the best way to not have the problems of COVID-19 is to avoid them,” she said.

The Professor was one of the guests at the Digital Town Hall for Senior Citizens hosted by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holiness, on Wednesday (March 25).

She stressed that a critical message for all senior citizens is that they should not come in contact with the virus.

“When we look at the statistics coming out of China, and the graph tells it, the case fatality rate for younger people, which does not minimise the severity of illness is below one per cent right up to age 59. When you get to 60 to 69, the case fatality in China, which is the number of people dying, is five per cent. When you get to 70, to 79, it is 10 per cent. And when you get into the 80s and over age group, it’s 18 per cent,” Professor Eldemire-Shearer indicated.

“So if our older people get COVID-19, the severity of their illness is going to not only take up hospital beds but it’s going to deprive our families and our communities of an older person of that wisdom, of that childcare. So it is an important loss to the community in general,” she added.

As a result, she reiterated that it is important for older people to get the message that the Government is sharing, that they should not come in contact with the virus.

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