Wednesday, 20 October

COVID-19: Ban alcohol, cigarette sales; give special care to NCD patients – Group

General News
Health Minister

The Ghana NCD Alliance has appealed to the government of Ghana to give special attention to people living with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The Ghana NCD Alliance said such persons already have health issues they have to deal with, hence, the need to protect them from the COVID-19 infection.

“It is important to note that people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) stand to encounter serious health implications should they contact the COVID-19.

“In addition, older people and people with pre-existing conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory disorders among other NCDs, appear to be more prone to becoming severely ill with the virus.

“People with mental health and Alzheimer’s conditions also suffers significantly due to the fear and anxiety this pandemic carry.

“So, while we plead with persons with the predisposed health conditions above to follow all the precautionary measures with much discipline and eat a well-balanced diet to boost their immune system to keep them fit, we entreat healthcare givers to give them special treatment in this hard and uncertain time including communicating with the patients to understand their conditions vis a vis the COVID 19,” the Alliance said in a statement.

It added: “Above all, we call on the government to ban the sale of tobacco (cigarettes) and alcoholic beverages including the advertisement of alcohol on TV and radio to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study shows that people living with NCDs and those with pre-existing conditions die or are greatly affected by COVID-19.

“South Africa, in the wake of their three-week lockdown to defeat COVID-19, has banned the sale of alcohol and cigarettes warning that offenders risked being prosecuted and either fined or jailed. Tobacco is not recognised as an essential item especially, in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

“Both smoking and alcohol intake are the leading causes of preventable diseases such as cancers, heart diseases etc. These diseases highly expose one to contracting and increasing the severity of COVID-19 than those without the disease or those who do not smoke or drink alcohol.”