Despite perceptions that coronavirus is a threat only to the elderly alone, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that more younger people are dying from the disease.
“People who were in their 30s, 40s, and 50s died of COVID-19 in China, South Korea, Italy and other parts of Europe,” who experts said in a press briefing broadcast from Geneva.
WHO technical lead of COVID-19 response and epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove said, “We are seeing more and more younger individuals who are experiencing a severe disease.”
Adding further she said, “Overall most of the people who are experiencing severe disease and ending up in ICU and needing advanced care are older people, and are people with underlying conditions.”
“But what we are seeing in some countries is that there are some people in their 30s, who are in their 40s, who are in their 50s, who are in ICU and who have died,” Maria added.
According to van Kerkhove, some of the young people were becoming severely ill as because they had pre-existing conditions, which were missing in others.
She further said that the need of the hour was to understand as to why some people were progressing from moderate disease to severe disease to critical disease.
She further said that it was also important to understand as to why some other people were progressing backwards from severe disease to more moderate disease and recovering.
WHO executive director Michael Ryan, speaking about the spread of coronavirus and the assumption that it wouldn’t affect younger people said, “Perhaps this was a way of people to reassure themselves that they won’t be affected.”
WHO executive director further informed that at least 10 to 15 per cent people admitted to the ICU in Italy over the last 5-6 weeks have been under 50.
WHO director-general Dr warned young people were not “invincible” to COVID-19.
“It is true that older people with underlying conditions are more vulnerable to coronavirus, but there has even more evidence now that it affects younger people as well, said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“There is nothing like that young people are not invincible to coronavirus,” Ghebreyesus further warned.