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Number of young people with COVID-19 soars – WHO

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WORLD Health Organisation says there’s been a three-fold rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 among young people over the last five months, , blaming the jump on a lack of attention to social distancing.

  The WHO reports that 15 per cent of the six million cases that emerged between late February and mid-July were in people between 15 and 24 years old.

Before late February, that number was 4.5 per cent.

  “We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: young people are not invincible,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says. “Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others.”

  The new statistics come as the total number of COVID-19 fatalities around the world pushes past 700,000, among the 18.5 million total number of infections, according to Johns Hopkins University’s    Resource Center.  Many nations are experiencing a dramatic spike in the COVID-19 infections and deaths, including Australia, where a single-day record of 725 new cases and 15 deaths were posted in southern Victoria state, home to Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne.  

  Health experts say young people tend to be less likely to wear masks and social distance. They are also more likely to go to their jobs, to the beach, a bar, or shopping. 

  The United States, France, Germany, Spain, and Japan are among the countries reporting the largest growth in infections among young people. 

  Officials in Tokyo have said they plan to carry out coronavirus testing in the city’s entertainment district, where many young people gather. They are also asking nightclubs to ensure partygoers have plenty of space.

   “The notion of more than 700 cases is not sustainable,” said Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews as he announced further restrictions on everyday activities, including a ban on elective surgeries in order to free up medical resources for coronavirus cases. 

All non-essential businesses will begin shutting down for six weeks beginning Wednesday under a COVID-19 disaster declaration imposed by Andrews last week.  Melbourne’s five million residents are under a strict 8 p.m.-to-5 p.m. curfew, and cannot leave their homes unless going to work, shopping for groceries or to receive medical care.

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