‘You are not invincible.. Coronavirus could kill you’ says WHO director to youth

Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Geneva, Switzerland. (Reuters)

Coronavirus can sicken or even kill young people and they must abide by the social distancing guidelines to protect themselves and avoid spreading it to older and more vulnerable people, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

“Although older people are hardest hit, younger people are not spared. Data from many countries clearly show that people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalization,” Tedros said in a virtual press conference.

“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.

The coronavirus has so far infected more than 210,000 people worldwide and claimed the lives of more than 9,000.

Every day brings a “new and tragic milestone,” Tedros said.

‘Physical distance’

The WHO renamed its recommended policy of “social distancing” to help prevent transmission of the coronavirus to “physical distancing”, said WHO epidemiologist Dr. Maria Kerkhove during the press conference.

“We are changing to say ‘physical distance’ and that’s on purpose because we want people to remain connected,” she said.

“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.”

WHO updates

The WHO introduced a new coronavirus health alert messaging service in collaboration with WhatsApp through which people can subscribe and get facts directly on their phones.

Find below how to start a WhatsApp conversation about coronavirus with WHO.

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Last Update: 23:28 KSA 02:28 - GMT 23:28
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