The World Health Organisation, WHO has sent a warning to world youths that the raging coronavirus does not respect them as they are also vulnerable.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sounded the warning in an online news conference from Geneva.
Ghebreyesus was debunking the myth that youths generally enjoyed some immunity from the virus, which has killed over 11,000 people worldwide.
As at Saturday 276,621 coronavirus cases have been logged in the world. In Italy, now the worst hit in Europe, a record 4032 people have died out of 47021 people infected.
“Although older people are hardest hit, younger people are not spared.” he said.
Youths must avoid socialising and communicating coronavirus to older, more vulnerable people, the WHO chief said.
The choices made by the young can be “the difference between life and death for someone else
He added: “I have a message for young people: You are not invincible; this virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you.
“Even if you don’t get sick the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else.”
Studies have shown that people of all ages can be infected by the virus – but it is especially dangerous for older people and those with underlying illnesses.
The average age of those who died from Covid-19 in Italy was 78.5 years.
Fewer than 1% of patients under the age of 50 died in China, according to the New York Times. But it was fatal for nearly 15% of those who were over the age of 80.
The WHO is now recommending “physical distance” instead of “social distancing” to help prevent transmission of the virus, Reuters reports.
“We want people to remain connected,” said Dr Maria Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist, told the news agency.
“So find ways to do that, find ways through the internet and through different social media to remain connected because your mental health going through this (pandemic) is just as important as your physical health,” she said.
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