Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Strengthening the immune system as a vital factor, if not the most important, to block the fatal COVID19 has been repeated several times over by doctors since the world has been hostaged and multiple times scared by the SARS-CoV2 contagion.
The Holy Month of Ramadan observed with a balanced diet of fresh home-prepared foodstuff and lots of warm water, is a “great opportunity” to do so, according to Burjeel Hospital-Abu Dhabi clinical dietician Archana Baju.
“If fresh food (were) limited and forced to buy frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, go through the nutrition label to choose the right ones. Avoid food from outside as safety (is our priority).”
She suggested the healthy cooking methods of stir-frying, baking, sauteeing, poaching and steaming than frying.
Separately interviewed and asked why patients of COVID19 and other infectious diseases including chronic illnesses recover and live, Baju’s colleague, Microbiology specialist Dr. Sundar Elayaperumal said: “The degree of immunity differs from person to person depending on the strength of the patient’s anti-body response.”
“Younger, healthier people will likely generate a more robust anti-body response, giving them more protection.”
Elayaperumal enumerated the immune boosters as “vaccines, good nutrition, exercise, and green and leafy vegetables.
Add on to that yoga and meditation.
Baju drew the connection between the Holy Month of Ramadan, fasting and healthy eating habits to enhancing the immune system.
“This is a great opportunity to bring in self-control and self-discipline regarding the eating pattern and healthy lifestyle for those who really find it difficult in regular days.”
She also said: “During the pandemic, proper nutrition and hydration are essential before, during and after an infection. No single food is magic, while no food or dietary supplement can prevent infections.”
“But those who follow a balanced diet plan have stronger immune system and have lower risk of infection.”
Baju said it is a plus if the balanced diet were fortified with the consumption of loads of “orange, lemon, kiwi, strawberry, mango, guava, brocolli, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, pepper, tomato, pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, cabbage, cauliflower, nuts, seeds and cereals.”
These are highly-packed with vitamins identified by the first five letters of the English alphabet.
She associated a strengthened immune system and breaking the fast with “wholesome, nutritious and healthy meal choices.”
Baju noted that “low fat milk, laban, yoghurt, unsweetened fresh fruit juices, coconut water, herbal teas, smoothies, infused water and warm soups” are good sources of hydration while warm water would keep at bay sore throat.
Baju’s other recommendations:
l Use minimal salt for cooking and instead add seasonings like herbs, spices, lemon and garlic.
l Never over-cook vegetables to prevent the loss of nutrients, color and flavor.
l Indulge in lean proteins like eggs, chicken breast, lean meat, lentils and beans at Iftar.
l Trim off the visible fat from meat and skinless chicken.
Meanwhile, on COVID19 patients overcoming the disease, Elayaperumal said: “Approximately 80 per cent of laboratory confirmed patients have had mild to moderate disease which includes non-pneumonia and pneumonia cases.”
On the deaths, he said: “Respiratory failure is obviously the main cause as was also the case in previous viral pandemics such as the Spanish flu of 1918.”
Saying that the condition may be resolved with the use of “invasive mechanical ventilation until the lungs recover” and the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation if the patient’s state worsens, Elayaperumal added that COVID19 patients have been found to succumb to the disease as “complicated by shock and multiple organ failure.”
On deaths due to other infectious and chronic challenges, Elayaperumal said these vary brought about by the “severity of the (case), sepsis, septic shock, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and mutiple organ failure eventually leading to cardiac arrest.”
The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) announced on Tuesday that all annual Ramadan tent permits in the Emirate of Dubai will be cancelled this year in compliance with government precautionary and preventive measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.
The true meaning of the Holy Month of Ramadan to share among the less fortunate members of the Pakistani diaspora in the UAE has not been forgotten by the social arm of the community. The Pakistan Association Dubai is distributing food packages among the underprivileged members of the community who have been affected by the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far 1,500 food packages, enough for a 4-5-member family for one month, have been distributed across all nationalities and emirates as part of the food drive.
With social distancing measures put in place to address the COVID-19 global outbreak, the Ramadan spirit is expected to be different this year.
The Kremlin is expected to move immediately to absorb the regions once the voting is over, with President Vlaidmir Putin expected to declare their incorporation into Russia later this week.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said earlier that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered an investigation into the audio leaks allegedly from PM House that features government officials.
Blinken's comments came after India's defence and foreign ministers opposed a US decision to provide a support package of about $450 million for Pakistan's fleet of US-made F-16 fighter jets.
The ceremony started at 2:00 p.m. (0500 GMT), with Abe's ashes carried into the Nippon Budokan Hall in central Tokyo by his widow, Akie, to music from a military band and the booms of the honour-guard salute, which echoed inside the hall.