Media captionUS students on spring break defy Covid-19 warnings
Young people are not immune from coronavirus and must avoid socialising and communicating it to older, more vulnerable people, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
The choices made by the young can be “the difference between life and death for someone else”, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
Over 11,000 patients have died from the Covid-19 respiratory illness worldwide.
Nearly 250,000 patients have tested positive overall.
The WHO chief’s remarks follow reports that young people in many countries are being complacent about health warnings, because of the greater susceptibility to the virus among older patients.
Studies have show 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.