Young people must control their party instincts for helping to prevent the new coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreaks, officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) stated on Wednesday.

Tired of the lockdowns and eager to celebrate the northern hemisphere summer, young people in some nations have been contributing to the resurgences by coming together for parties, barbecues, and holidays.

Even in Geneva, where the global U.N. 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?"

COVID-19 and Youngsters

coronavirus face mask
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Young people are less likely to suffer a severe form of 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 a 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.

(With agency inputs)