DOH asks smokers to quit to prevent coronavirus infection
MANILA, Philippines – Aside from staying at home, the Department of Health (DOH) asked smokers to quit as they are more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Majority ng COVID-19 cases natin dito sa Pilipinas ay ang mga elderly at mga lalaki (Majority of the COVID-19 cases here in the Philippines are elderly and men). Base sa ating datos (based on our data), 42% of adult Filipino men are smokers (and about a million are vapers)," Dr Beverly Ho, special assistant to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, said in a press briefing.
Ho added,"Gusto po natin silang paalalahanan na mas vulnerable po sila sa COVID-19 kaysa sa ibang tao (We would like to remind them that they are more vulnerable to COVID-1.)"
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth.”
Ho also said that smokers may also have lung disease which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness.
“Dahil po rito, pinapaki-usapan po namin ang ating mga smokers na huminto sa paninigarilyo para na po sa inyong kapakanan at kalusugan. Pinapa-alalahanan din po namin ang general public na umiiwas sa second hand smoke mula sa vape or sa regular cigerattes,” Ho said.
(Because of this, we appeal to smokers to stop smoking for your own safety and health. We also remind the public to avoid secondhand smoke from vape or regular cigarettes.)
The DOH cited a study from the New England Journal of Medicine on the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in China, saying that “smokers comprised more than 25% of those who needed mechanical ventilation and admission to an intensive care unit, or died.”
As of Wednesday, the Philippines had 3,870 cases of the coronavirus, with 182 deaths and 96 recoveries. – Rappler.com