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Corona virus disease (COVID-19) technical guidance: Patient management

Older people and people with preexisting conditions (such as heart diseases, diabetes, and respiratory conditions) appear to be more susceptible to becoming severely ill with the virus.

Understand the patient’s co-morbid condition(s) to tailor the management of critical illness and appreciate the prognosis – Communicate early with patient and family During intensive care management of COVID-19, determine which medications should be continued and which should be stopped temporarily. Communicate proactively with patients and families and provide support and prognostic information. Understand the patient’s values and preferences regarding life-sustaining interventions.

Risk factors and conditions that make people more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with COVID-19:  

  • 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. Smokers may also already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness.  
  • Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings.
  • Conditions that increases oxygen needs or reduces the ability of the body to use it properly will put patients at higher risk of the consequences of bilateral viral pneumonia.


A healthy lifestyle will make all bodily functions work better, including immunity. Eating healthy diets, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, keeping physically active, quitting smoking, limiting or avoiding alcohol intake, and getting enough sleep are key components of a healthy lifestyle.