WHO chief to younger population on coronavirus threat : India
Amid reports that older people, especially those above 60, are at higher risk due to coronavirus outbreak, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that younger generation should be aware of the fact that they are “not invincible”.
Speaking at the media briefing on COVID-19 on Friday, the Director-General of the World Health Organization said, “Every day, we are learning more about this virus and the disease it causes. One of the things we are learning is that although older people are the hardest hit, younger people are not spared.”
Noting that data from many countries clearly show that people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalisation, Ghebreyesus said, “Today, 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,” he added.
I am grateful that so many young people are spreading the word and not the virus, he said.
His message came as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases have crossed 275,000, with more than 11,300 deaths from across the world.
“Every day, COVID-19 seems to reach a new and tragic milestone,” the WHO chief said. “Every loss of life is a tragedy. It’s also motivation to double down and do everything we can to stop transmission and save lives.”
“We also need to celebrate our successes. Yesterday, Wuhan reported no new cases for the first time since the outbreak started. Wuhan provides hope for the rest of the world, that even the most severe situation can be turned around,” he said.
“Of course, we must exercise caution – the situation can reverse. But the experience of cities and countries that have pushed back this virus give hope and courage to the rest of the world,” he added.
While China has been able to contain the virus, Italy has become the new hotspot of COVID-19. With over 47,000 cases, the European nation has reported over 4000 deaths.
The WHO chief also pitched for solidarity as a key weapon against the disease.
“As I keep saying, solidarity is the key to defeating COVID-19 – solidarity between countries, but also between age groups. Thank you for heeding our call for solidarity, solidarity, solidarity,” he said.