Diabetes in the Time of COVID-19


There is not enough data to show that people with diabetes are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 infection. The likelihood of people with diabetes contracting the infection is reported to be the same as those without diabetes. Medications for diabetes also will not increase the risk of contracting the disease. It is therefore recommended to continue medications to control diabetes. Continuing to take medications for hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, and other medical conditions are also recommended.

Yes, people with diabetes are more likely to have severe symptoms and develop serious complications when they contract COVID-19 infection. This is especially true for patients who have poorly controlled diabetes. The chance of getting severe infection is also worsened if you have other conditions like heart disease, hypertension and lung problems like bronchial asthma and emphysema.

Similar to the general measures given by the WHO to prevent transmission of COVID-19, to protect yourself and others from infection, everyone must practice the following:

  • frequent hand-washing or disinfection with alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • avoid touching surfaces especially in public settings or healthcare facilities
  • respiratory hygiene such as covering the mouth when coughing
  • physical distancing of at least 1 meter or more according to the national recommendations
  • wearing of masks when with other people especially where distancing is not possible and indoors
  • regular environmental cleaning and disinfection
  • make sure there is good ventilation
  • limiting unnecessary travel and stay at home as much as possible
  • avoid social gatherings or inviting house guests


Clear policies, training, and education for staff in the work place to increase awareness of COVID-19 are essential. Anyone who is unwell or who develop symptoms should stay at home, self-isolate and contact a medical professional or the local COVID-19 information line for advice on testing and referral.

Vaccination is highly recommended for people with diabetes. People with diabetes are considered one of the priority groups for vaccination. People living together with people who have diabetes are also recommended to get vaccinated.


  • American Diabetes Association
  • International Diabetes Federation
  • World Health Organization. COVID-19 and Related health Topics