The World Health Organization has warned that an increasing number of younger people are contracting coronavirus and losing their lives to the deadly pandemic. The UN's international health body said young individuals in their 30s, 40s and 50s were being admitted to the intensive care units and dying, despite having no underlying health issues.

Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO's emergencies programme, said in a press conference that close to 15 per cent of the people admitted in the ICUs in Italy were below 50 and the assumption that only the elderly are dying is not true. ''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. There is a spectrum of severity.''

Coronavirus
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Many 'unknowns' why younger people are dying

WHO's Covid-19 technical lead, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, revealed that not much light is being shed on the disease as a whole and making assumptions that younger people with strong immunity can survive the pandemic is false and stated that there are still many ''unknowns'' as to why younger people are dying.

''We are seeing more and more younger individuals who are experiencing severe disease. But what we are seeing in some countries, individuals who are in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are in ICUs and have died.'' She added: ''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.''

She said the WHO must ''better understand'' why younger people are dying from the virus and added that ''there are still many unknowns at this present time''.

More than a million people in the world have contracted coronavirus with 61,184 deaths. After China, the United States, Spain and Italy are the hardest hit with 7,441, 11,744 and 14,681 deaths respectively as on April 4. Countries around the world have closed their borders and ordered lockdowns to combat and stop the coronavirus from spreading further.