Geriatrics takes the lead in caring for older people during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on people, economies, and health care and has disrupted global travel and cooperation. Governments are battling to protect populations and limit the spread of constantly changing variants by stopping international travel, emposing lockdowns, and undertaking mass vaccination programs. People who are older, more frail and socially isolated are most vulnerable to complications which are often severe and may require mechanical ventilatory support in intensive care units. Mortality is high, and for survivors recovery is slow. The need to treat a vast number of patients is overwhelming, resources are scarce, and difficult ethical decisions have to be made. These circumstances demand that geriatricians take a leading role in ensuring the best possible care of older people in societies across the globe.

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