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WHO urges young people to help control the spread of coronavirus as global death toll tops 700,000

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Young people must curb their party instincts to help prevent new coronavirus outbreaks, officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) pleaded on Wednesday.

It is thought that younger generations have been contributing to recent resurgences of Covid-19 by gathering again for parties, barbecues and holidays amid the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The proportion of those infected aged 15-24 has risen three-fold in about five months, WHO data shows.   

The warning comes after the global death toll topped 700,000. 

It is thought that younger generations have been contributing to resurgences of Covid-19 by gathering again for parties, barbecues and holidays. Pictured: Young people queuing for a night club in Helsinki, Finland, last month after the coronavirus restrictions eased

It is thought that younger generations have been contributing to resurgences of Covid-19 by gathering again for parties, barbecues and holidays. Pictured: Young people queuing for a night club in Helsinki, Finland, last month after the coronavirus restrictions eased

‘Younger people also need to take on board that they have a responsibility,’ said WHO emergencies chief and father-of-three Mike Ryan in an online discussion. 

‘Ask yourself the question: do I really need to go to that party?’

Young people are less likely to suffer a severe form of the respiratory disease than their parents or grandparents.

But the proportion of those infected aged 15-24 has risen three-fold in about five months, WHO data shows.

Mr Ryan said young people were often also reticent in giving their details or disclosing friends’ names to contact tracers. 

‘It’s tough but it is what is needed to stop the virus,’ he said.

The proportion of those infected aged 15-24 has risen three-fold in about five months, WHO data shows. Pictured: People standing in queue to enter a restaurant in Miami Beach, Florida, amid the pandemic

The proportion of those infected aged 15-24 has risen three-fold in about five months, WHO data shows. Pictured: People standing in queue to enter a restaurant in Miami Beach, Florida, amid the pandemic

Even in Geneva, where the global U.N. health body is based, cabarets and clubs were closed last week after evidence that nearly half of new cases were coming from there. 

Swiss newspapers said that in one night club in Zurich, from which several coronavirus cases emerged recently, partygoers had given fake names including ‘Donald Duck’.

WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said that as well as reducing risks to others young people should be more careful as even a mild version of the disease might have long-term consequences.

It was announced earlier today that the global Covid-19 related death toll had topped 700,000 as dozens of countries reintroduced tighter regulations in a bid to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

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