Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid in UAE: Categories of residents who must get vaccine immediately Filed on June 6, 2021 | Last updated on June 6, 2021 at 02.46 pm
Reuters file photo

Studies have found that people with obesity and chronic diseases are more susceptible to contracting the virus.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has highlighted the dangers of obesity and chronic diseases and their association with Covid-19.

In a campaign, the ministry has stressed why these categories of residents must adhere to all Covid safety measures, maintain a healthy balanced diet and stick to treatment plans set by doctors.

Global reports and studies have found that people with obesity and chronic diseases - including cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and cancer - are more susceptible to contracting the virus. They are also more prone to develop complications from the virus.

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Therefore, these groups of residents must take the Covid-19 vaccine at the earliest, the ministry said.

Dr Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary of Health Centres and Clinics Sector, said: "Since the early days of the pandemic, the ministry has paid special attention to obese patients and those with chronic diseases and has accordingly assigned them special healthcare.

“They have been given priority in lab- and home-testing to limit their contact with others in health centres and are among the priority groups in receiving the Covid-19 jabs.

“The severity of Covid-19 increases if the infected person is over 60. People with one or more of these chronic conditions such as asthma and lung disease, cardiovascular problems, uncontrolled diabetes, severe obesity, a weakened immune system due to diseases such as HIV or who are undergoing cancer treatment must be more careful to protect themselves against the virus," Al Rand added.

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Dr Fadila Mohammed Sharif, Director of Health Education and Promotion, pointed out that overweight individuals are at greater health risk during the Covid-19 pandemic. Statistics show that obesity triples the risks of hospitalisation in case of infection. This is because obesity is associated with weak immunity and reduces lung capacity, making it difficult to breathe.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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