Young people 'not invincible' in Covid-19 pandemic

Clay Curtis
August 2, 2020

The WHO Emergency Committee on COVID-19, convened by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus under the International Health Regulations (IHR), held its fourth meeting on Friday (July 31), WHO said in an online statement released on Saturday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said spike in coronavirus cases in some countries were being driven by young people "letting down their guard".

"We have said it before and we'll say it again: young people are not invincible", he told journalists. He suggested young people take the same precautions that elderly people are taking to protect themselves and others from the infection and spread.

"They can be leaders - they should be leaders and drivers of change", he said, adding that all people have a role to play in reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Silva Cossa, the caretaker, ties ribbons onto the fence to represents a South African who has died from Covid-19, at St James Presbyterian church in Bedford Gardens, Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

After a full discussion and review of the evidence, the Committee unanimously agreed that the outbreak still constitutes a public health emergency of worldwide concern (PHEIC) and offered this advice to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general.

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"COVID-19 is extremely infectious and no one is immune".

"Our starting point is that health involves behaviour".

Tedros also extended best wishes to all Muslims celebrating the annual Eidul Azha, which falls on Friday.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead on the pandemic, said that night clubs in a number of places had become "amplifiers of transmission" of the virus.

He commended Saudi Arabia for implementing measures to make this year's Hajj pilgrimage as safe as possible. "And whether we're speaking of Covid-19, or sexual and reproductive health, or smoking, or other non-communicable diseases, human behaviour is at the root of it", said Professor Sunstein, who is founder and director of the Program on Behavioural Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School.

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