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State Minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Hon. Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, is reiterating the need for individuals to safeguard their health and well-being, in order to improve health outcomes against COVID-19.

Mrs. Cuthbert-Flynn, who was speaking at the opening of the Life Store Wellness Boutique on Constant Spring Road, on December 9, said that the pandemic has taught many valuable lessons in health and wellness and has driven home the point that each person must take proactive steps towards safeguarding their own wellness and well-being.

She cited figures from a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), which clearly show a connection between certain conditions and behaviours and how the body responds to COVID-19.

According to the report, hypertension, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease increase the odds for severe COVID-19 by 2.3, 2.9 and 3.9 times, respectively; patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at increased risk of severe complications or death from COVID-19; the mortality rate from COVID-19 was significantly increased in patients with cancer and was particularly high among those with blood cancers; and smokers were one and a half times more likely to have severe complications from COVID-19.

The report also indicated that people with diabetes were up to three times more likely to have severe symptoms or die from COVID-19, obesity increases the risk for becoming severely ill from COVID-19, and moderate alcohol consumption impairs the body’s ability to fight infections such as COVID-19.

“Looking at these statistics, we see clearly that lifestyle choices greatly affect how we fare in the battle against COVID-19 and as such, making better choices and accepting responsibility for our wellness will definitely put our people in a better position to survive this pandemic,” the State Minister said.

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