Young people not cautious enough about virus

Cheryl Sanders
August 2, 2020

"This pandemic is a health crisis such as we see only one per century and its effects will be felt for decades to come", declared Friday the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that 26% of young people surveyed by the agency said they still weren't back to their usual good health even two to three weeks after testing positive.

He lamented that a major challenge in trying to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus was "convincing younger people of this risk".

"Evidence suggests that spikes of cases in some countries are being driven in part by younger people letting down their guard during the northern hemisphere summer", Ghebreyesus said. "Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others".

The committee "highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic", the World Health Organization said in a statement, and warned of the risk of "response fatigue" given the socio-economic pressures on countries.

"We are now at a crucial point in our response to COVID-19".

The emergency committee asked the World Health Organization to provide all countries with pragmatic guidance on how to respond to the pandemic, "to reduce the risk that responses to the epidemic may fail".

However, there is little doubt that the WHO will maintain the pandemic's status as a public health emergency of global concern (PHEIC) - its highest level of alarm.

The newly established Technical Advisory Group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health, announced on Thursday, will support WHO's ongoing work in this area. That's why young people must take the same precautions to protect themselves and others as everyone else.

"We know that habits are persistent, even if they aren't healthy".

He congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the steps that were put in place to make the Hajj as safe as possible this year, calling it a "powerful demonstration of the kinds of measures that countries can - and must - take to adapt to the new normal".

Speaking about the rise in cases, Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; "Today's figures demonstrate how quickly COVID-19 can remerge in our country".

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