'Do you really need to party?' WHO asks world's youth

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
(File)
(File)
PHOTO: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart

Young people must curb their party instincts to help prevent new outbreaks of the Covid-19 disease, officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) pleaded on Wednesday.

Tired of lockdowns and eager to enjoy the northern hemisphere summer, young people in some countries have been contributing to resurgences by gathering again for parties, barbecues and holidays.

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

"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.

Ryan said young people were often 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.

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

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

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Children between 12 and 17 can now be vaccinated against Covid-19. As a parent I am:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Relieved, it's been a long wait to this point
48% - 357 votes
A bit hesitant, and will wait to see how it goes
20% - 152 votes
Completely against my child getting the shot
31% - 233 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.45
+0.8%
Rand - Pound
19.96
+0.6%
Rand - Euro
16.82
+0.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.85
+0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.8%
Gold
1,781.92
+0.7%
Silver
24.31
+2.7%
Palladium
2,073.50
-1.4%
Platinum
1,054.00
+1.1%
Brent Crude
85.08
+0.9%
Top 40
60,348
+0.3%
All Share
66,895
+0.2%
Resource 10
63,203
-0.1%
Industrial 25
85,486
+0.6%
Financial 15
14,008
-0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE