Cases of Coronavirus Among Young People Are Rising, Warns WHO

Dr Hans Kluge, Europe regional director for the WHO, told the BBC: "They have a responsibility towards themselves, their parents, grandparents and their communities".
Young People May Be Driving Coronavirus Cases Up, WHO Warns
Photo by Sian Bradley. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that a growing surge of coronavirus cases in young people could be causing spikes of the virus around the globe.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Dr Hans Kluge, Europe regional director for the WHO told the BBC: “We're receiving reports from several health authorities of a higher proportion of new infections among young people."

“So for me,” he continued, “the call is loud enough to rethink how to better involve young people."


Speaking about his two daughters, Kluge said that he understood the difficult position young people are in, particularly those who “do not want to miss the summer”, but added that "they have a responsibility towards themselves, their parents, grandparents and their communities.” He also said: “We do know now how to adopt good healthy behaviours, so let's take advantage of the knowledge".

The BBC reports that cases of coronavirus in young people are rising across the world. In recent weeks, the Netherlands has seen higher infection rates among young people, while in France, authorities in Brittany blamed a local outbreak on 18 to 25-year-olds.

"Young people spread the virus," Anne-Briac Bili, head of the regional health authority, claimed on French television.

This criticism of young people’s behaviour during the pandemic has also been seen in Madrid, Spain. Amidst a new quarantine imposed on the country following a sharp rise in the number of cases, the regional government head Isabel Díaz Ayuso spoke out against "the behaviour of young people" in a government announcement.

"They are endangering neighbours but also their academic and working future," she said.

Overall, coronavirus cases in the UK have been falling, but a recent “cluster” of cases occurred in Glasgow, Scotland today. According to the BBC, 14 new cases of the virus were reported in the city, making up the bulk of the 22 new cases reported in Scotland over the last 24 hours.

As of yesterday, there were 581 additional lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.