Coronavirus has infected thousands in the UK but giving up smoking before getting COVID-19 can make a huge difference. Professor Linda Bauld explained that respiratory disease can have less of an effect on a smoker who quits just days before transmissions. It comes a total of 6,483 people in the UK have died from COVID-19 up by 828 in the past 24 hours.
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Speaking to Sky News, Professor Bauld said: “The benefits of stopping smoking start almost immediately.
“I know it’s going to be difficult for people when they’re stuck at home and we’re all worried about alcohol, drug and tobacco use at the moment.
“It’s hard for everybody but I think this will be the right time and I certainly think for respiratory health in particular and the other conditions we know that are linked to tobacco use.”
Host Adam Boulton asked: “So, if you stop smoking now it could improve your chances if you get COVID-19?”
Professor Bauld added: “I think we’ve not seen much data on specific cases but what we know generally about stopping smoking and having any kind of infection.
“Their recovery will particularly be better if they stop smoking and that includes quitting smoking even a few days before having to use healthcare services.”
Her comments come as lockdown measures will be reviewed around the three-week mark on Monday, Downing Street said, as warnings mounted that it will be too early to ease the restrictions to combat COVID-19.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan echoed ministers in saying the capital is “nowhere near” being able to ease measures, as the World Health Organisation warned leaders to be “very careful”.
Boris Johnson, who remains in a stable condition in intensive care, had committed to reviewing if the measures could be eased on Monday, three weeks after he imposed the conditions.
But there had been confusion after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for the PM, refused to directly answer questions on when it would take place.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman clarified on Wednesday that the review would take place “on or around” the three-week mark as he urged the public to “stick with it” at the “critical time”.
He highlighted the Government’s key advisers having made clear it was too early to say when the coronavirus pandemic would reach its peak and it would be safe to ease the restrictions imposed on March 23.
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The emergency legislation laid before Parliament three days after the PM’s announcement states that a review must take place every 21 days, with the first deadline being April 16.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Mr Khan warned that London is “nowhere near lifting the lockdown”.
Mr Khan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We think the peak, which is the worst part of the virus, is still probably a week and a half away.”
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said evidence from other countries suggests the peak remains “for some time” before a reduction occurs.
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