World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged people across the globe to take necessary measures in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

In his opening remarks, Ghebreyesus said that the reducing number of COVID-19 positive cases in Wuhan provide “hope for the rest of the world, that even the most severe situation can be turned around.”

However, he warned people that the pandemic was far from over. People need to exercise caution as the situation can reverse at any point.

Addressing the young people of the world on Friday, Ghebreyesus said the virus can prove to be fatal for youth as well, even though it primarily affects the older generation.

“One of the things we are learning is that although older people are the hardest hit, younger people are not spared. Data from many countries clearly show that people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalisation,” Ghebreyesus said.

“Today, I have a message for young people: you are not invincible. This virus could put you in hospital for weeks, or even kill you. Even if you don’t get sick, the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else. I’m grateful that so many young people are spreading the word and not the virus,” he further said.

He further detailed a few measures that people need to take to ensure the safety of their health and the health of those around them.

“During this difficult time, it’s important to continue looking after your physical and mental health,” he said. This will not only help you in the long-term, but it will also help you fight COVID-19 if you get it. First, eat a healthy and nutritious diet, which helps your immune system to function properly. Second, limit your alcohol consumption, and avoid sugary drinks. Third, don’t smoke. Smoking can increase your risk of developing severe disease if you become infected with COVID-19. Fourth, exercise. WHO recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day for adults, and one hour a day for children.”

As of Friday, over 2,30,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus had been reported across the globe with over 9800 deaths, according to WHO. Italy is currently the most affected country post-Wuhan. Italy’s death toll surpassed that of China earlier this week.

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