The World Health Organization has warned that more younger people are falling severely ill with COVID-19.
Individuals in their 30s, 40s, and 50s were being moved to intensive care and dying even though they had no underlying health problems, the WHO said.
But experts said most of the patients who developed severe illness tend to be older with underlying health issues.
The Executive director of WHO’s emergencies program, Dr. Mike Ryan, said at a press conference that 1 in 6 coronavirus deaths in Korea had been under the age of 60.
In Italy, ‘at least’ 10 to 15 percent of coronavirus patients in ICU were aged under 50, he added.
“It’s not that anything has changed. It’s that we collectively have been living in a world where we have tried to convince ourselves that this disease is mild and more severe in older people.
“But I think the evidence has been there all along,” he said. “There is a spectrum of severity.”
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, said there are many ‘unknowns’ about why young people dying.
“We are seeing more and more younger individuals who are experiencing severe disease,” she said. “I should say, overall, most of the people who are experiencing severe disease and ending up in ICU are people of older age, and are people who have underlying conditions.
“But what we are seeing in some countries, individuals who are in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are in ICUs and have died.”
Dr. Kerkhove also said that the WHO needs to ‘better understand’ why young people are dying from coronavirus.
Kristalina Georgieva, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, said that the world’s economy had come to a standstill because of the crisis.
“This is a crisis like no other, never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy coming to a standstill,” she said.
“We are now in recession. It is way worse than the global financial crisis. It is a crisis that requires all of us to come together.”
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