COLOMBO (News 1st): As the world celebrates ‘World Diabetes Day’ (Nov. 14), amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, controlling diabetes is even more important at present as people with non-communicable diseases have been identified as having a higher risk of contracting the virus, the Director-General of Health Services said.

According to the Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka, 50% of the people with the condition are unaware of the fact that they have embarked upon life with diabetes.

“Diabetes, one of the four most common non-communicable diseases in Sri Lanka, can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle such as engaging in physical activity and by adopting healthy eating habits; and with proper treatment, diabetes can be controlled and complications can be prevented,” Dr. Asela Gunawardena, the Director-General of Health Services said.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people living with diabetes are more prone to COVID-19 as their immune systems are compromised, where the virus thrives in an environment of elevated blood sugar; when people living with diabetes develop a viral infection, it can be harder to treat due to fluctuation in blood sugar levels and complications, Dr. Mahen Wijesuriya, the Director at the Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka said.

“During this period, the Ministry of Health takes every possible measure to provide essential medicines to households of diabetic patients who are attending government clinics. Furthermore, all government hospitals are open for essential emergencies,” Dr. Asela Gunawardena, the Director-General of Health Services noted.

This content was originally published here.