Are people with a compromised immune system are at risk of contracting Covid-19?

Constantino Chiwenga Vice-President of Zimbabwe
The Claim: On 14 November 2020, The Herald quoted Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga saying, “scientists have said the virus targets easily those with a weaker health system, but I say it preys more on ignorance, denial and wishful thinking”.
The Verdict: claim verdict

The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues and organs, they help the body to fight infections and other diseases.A research titled ‘Covid-19: Who’s at higher risk of serious symptoms?’ by Mayo clinic staff indicates that one needs to take extra precautions to avoid the virus that can cause Covid-19.

“But many conditions can weaken your immune system. Conditions that affect your immune system and increase your risk of serious illness from Covid-19 include organ transplant and cancer treatment,” the research noted.

“Your risk of serious symptoms from Covid-19 may be increased if you have conditions such as bone marrow transplant, HIV/AIDS, long-term use of prednisone or similar drugs that weaken your immune system”.
“If you have a weakened immune system, you may need to take extra precautions to avoid the virus that causes Covid-19.”

In addition, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  at the World Health Assembly on 9 November 2020 confirmed that Covid-19 preys on those with a weaker immune system.

“We might be tired of Covid-19. But we are not tired of us. Yes, it preys on those in weaker health. But it preys on other weaknesses too, inequality, division, denial. Wishful thinking and willful ignorance,” he said.

Contacted for a comment, Mpilo Central Hospital Acting Chief Executive Officer, Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said people with weaker systems tend to do badly against Covid-19.

“Yes, it is very true Covid-19 affects those people that have weaker systems we call them co-morbidity such as people that are on cancer treatment, people on hyper tension, diabetic, people that are taking anti-retroviral treatment, people that are obese, people that are pregnant”.
“Those people with weaker systems tend to do very badly against Coronavirus and they are advised to avoid catching it in the first place,” said Professor Ngwenya.


“Denial causes a lot of infections for Coronavirus because people are refusing to wear masks correctly, they do not believe that coronavirus kills, some have myths that coronavirus does not kill Africans which is ignorance that leads to quite severe consequences,” he said.

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