Young People Are Not Spared From COVID 19
Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, (L) the Director-General of World Health Organisation IMAGE: WHO
On Tuesday 31 December 2019, a report of 29 pneumonia cases of unknown causes was received by the World Health Organisation (WHO) office in China.
In a week it was established the cases were associated with a seafood market and the infection was identified as COVID 19 and the virus SARS-CoV-2.
Almost a month later, WHO declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
“Every day we are learning more about this virus and the disease it causes.”
“One of the things we’re learning is that although older people are the hardest-hit younger people are not spared. Data from many countries clearly show that people under 50 make up a significant portion of patients requiring hospitalisation.”
Speaking from the WHO headquarters in a press briefing, Director General Dr.Tedros has a message for young people.
“You’re 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 said: “Solidarity is the key to defeating COVID 19; solidarity between countries but also between age groups and I’m grateful that many young people are spreading the word and not the virus.”
“Our greatest concern is the impact this virus could have if it gains a foothold in countries with weaker health systems or with vulnerable populations.”
“We know that if this disease takes hold in these countries there could be significant sickness and loss of life but that’s not inevitable.”
He said: “Unlike any pandemic in history we have the power to change the way this goes.”
While the pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on the global economy, Dr.Tedros says the response from countries and business leaders have been uplifting.
“We’re encouraged by the solidarity and generosity of business leaders to use their resources, experience and networks to improve the availability of supplies, communicate reliable information and protect their staff and customers.”
“We’re also encouraged that countries around the world continue to support the global response. We thank Kuwait for its contribution of US$40 million.”
“I’m grateful to Jack Ma and his foundation as well as Ali Kodam-Goatay for their willingness to help provide essential supplies to countries in need.”
“To support our call to test every suspected case we’re also working hard to increase the global supply of diagnostic kits.”
He said: “There are many companies globally that produce diagnostic kits but WHO can only buy or recommend kits that have been evaluated independently to ensure their quality.”
Updates: Our e-Bulletins on the global pandemic COVID 19 are sourced from the World Health Organisation.