The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said smokers and tobacco consumers have a high chance of contracting COVID-19.

The United Nations’ specialised body for global health also said asthmatic and diabetic patients are vulnerable to be infected with the virus.

It said:

“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 the virus from hand to mouth.

“Smokers may also already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness.

“Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouthpieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings.

“Conditions that increase oxygen needs or reduce the ability of the body to use it properly will put patients at higher risk of serious lung conditions such as pneumonia.

“People with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

“WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.”

The novel virus has infected over 600,000 people with over 27,000 deaths.

The statistics keep exploding hourly with Nigeria’s cases hitting 97 as of 10:00am on Sunday, March 29.

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