A recent increase in coronavirus cases among youth in Europe and worldwide is a reminder that "no one is invincible," the head of the World Health Organization's (WHO) European regional office said on Thursday.
"While young people are less likely to die than older people, they can still be very seriously affected," Hans Kluge of the Copenhagen-based agency said. "Youth like everyone have to play their part to limit the opportunity for the virus to spread."
Suggested measures included "wearing a mask in situations when you will be interacting closely with other people," "avoiding crowds and large groups" and preferably meeting outdoors and keeping a 1-metre distance when possible, he said.
The general rise in virus cases in Europe was attributed to the easing social distancing measures and people "dropping their guard," Kluge said.
26,000 cases a day
He cautioned that the "the risk of resurgence has never been far away," and even if Europe has a decreasing proportion of global cases, the region continues to report about 26,000 new cases daily.
The WHO European region groups 53 countries. They have registered about 3.9 million cases, corresponding to about 17% of the global total.
With the next seasonal influenza season approaching, Kluge stressed the importance that the elderly and risk groups get their influenza shots in time "to protect our hospitals and health workforce already having to cope with Covid-19 from being overwhelmed."