The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday issued an advisory for elderly people, listing “do’s” and “don’ts” they should follow in order to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. The advisory said that while the government has taken stringent measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, including a 21-day nationwide lockdown, it is necessary for people to follow the protocols and take measures to break the chain of transmission.

“Elderly people are at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection due to their decreased immunity and body reserves, as well as multiple associated comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” the advisory said. “Also, course of disease tends to be more severe in case of elderlies resulting in higher mortality.”

The advisory said transmission of the disease among the elderly population can be reduced by taking several measures, such as staying at home, washing their faces and hands at regular intervals, sneezing or coughing into the elbow or a tissue paper, eating nutritious food, exercising and meditating. The ministry added that elderly people should also take their prescribed medicines regularly, postpone elective surgeries like total knee replacement or cataract surgery, clean surfaces they touch with disinfectants, and monitor their own health for any signs of illness.

The ministry said the elderly should avoid coughing and sneezing without covering their face, avoid people if they are suffering from fever or cough, avoid sick people, avoid touching their eyes or face, avoid shaking hands, and hugging their next of kin. They have also been advised not to self-medicate, to avoid visiting hospitals for routine checkups, avoid crowded places like parks, markets and places of worship, and to stay at home unless it is absolutely essential to go out.

The lockdown began on March 25 and will last until April 14. At least 1,071 people have been infected with the coronavirus in India, and 29 have died, according to the Centre’s figures on Monday morning.