A non-government organization urged the elderly to exercise extra caution amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as they are considered to be at high risk of contacting the disease.
The Center for Disease Control in America has revealed that the elderly are more suspectable to the virus, according to Raffy Tima's Thursday report on 24 Oras.
In the Philippines, more than half of the first 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases were aged 50 and above.
Due to this, the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE) has advised this age group to refrain from going to congested places, traveling, and getting in contact with others such as through hand blessing.
"Mas mahalaga sigurong manggaling sa kanila at sabihing iwasan muna natin 'yung pagmamano kasi hindi lang naman sa pagmamano maipapakita 'yung respeto natin sa nakakatanda," COSE executive director Emily Beredico said.
For their part, several elders have changed their lifestyle as a precaution against the virus.
Senior citizen Juliet Aramburo used to regularly take her 92-year-old grandmother to the mall. However, their visits became less frequent due to the virus.
"Lagi, pinapasyal ko siya sa mall. Ngayon lang hindi, mag two [to] three weeks na hindi ko nilalabas," the 64-year-old said.
Meanwhile, 71-year-old pianist Bong Infante used to tour different malls to play at display pianos.
"Namimili ako kung alin 'yung pupuntahan ko, 'yung walang COVID," Infante said.
"Mahirap na pagka-meron, eh. Kawawa ako naman. Biro mo, sa edad ko'ng ito, 71 na ko, tapos magkakaron pa ko ng COVID virus pa. Susmaryosep, e'di sayang diba," he added.
As the elderly are considered high at risk, COSE also called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development to immediately give them their pensions for healthcare.
"Panawagan po namin sa [DSWD] ay sana maibigay sa lalong madaling panahon 'yung mga pensyon nila," Beredico said.
"Kung kailangan nilang mag-imbak ng gamot kahit 'yung para sa kanilang mga maintenance medicine, may magagamit 'yung ating mga nakakatanda," she added. —Joahna Lei Casilao/LDF, GMA News