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Homeland Security

Number of Young People with COVID Soars

By VOA News August 05, 2020

There's been a three-fold rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 among young people over the last five months, the World Health Organization says, blaming the jump on a lack of attention to social distancing.

The WHO reports that 15% of the six million cases that emerged between late February and mid-July were in people between 15 and 24 years old.

Before late February, that number was 4.5%.

"We've said this before and we'll say it again: young people are not invincible," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says. "Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others."

Health experts say young people tend to be less likely to wear masks and social distance. They are also more likely to go to their jobs, to the beach, a bar, or shopping.

The United States, France, Germany, Spain, and Japan are among the countries reporting the largest growth in infections among young people.

Officials in Tokyo have said they plan to carry out coronavirus testing in the city's entertainment district, where many young people gather. They are also asking nightclubs to ensure partygoers have plenty of space.

The new statistics come as the total number of COVID-19 fatalities around the world pushes past 700,000, among the 18.5 million total number of infections, according to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center. Many nations are experiencing a dramatic spike in the COVID-19 infections and deaths, including Australia, where a single-day record of 725 new cases and 15 deaths were posted in southern Victoria state, home to Australia's second-largest city, Melbourne.

"The notion of more than 700 cases is not sustainable," said Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews as he announced further restrictions on everyday activities, including a ban on elective surgeries in order to free up medical resources for coronavirus cases. All non-essential businesses will begin shutting down for six weeks beginning Wednesday under a COVID-19 disaster declaration imposed by Andrews last week. Melbourne's five million residents are under a strict 8 p.m.-to-5 p.m. curfew, and cannot leave their homes unless going to work, shopping for groceries or to receive medical care.

In the United States, which leads the world in the total number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, the governors of six states have formed an alliance to purchase a total of 3.5 million rapid coronavirus tests. The multi-state initiative involving Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia is being undertaken amid a lack of a nationwide testing strategy from the federal government in Washington, along with major delays in releasing test results by private laboratories, with some labs reporting backlogs stretching more than a week.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who negotiated the alliance in his final days as chairman of the National Governors Association, says the philanthropic Rockefeller Foundation will assist the states in financing the purchase of the tests.

Also Tuesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the world is facing a "generational catastrophe" because COVID 19 has shut out young people from their schools.

Guterres says as of last month, more than 1 billion children in 160 countries are missing out on formal studies, and 40 million toddlers are deprived of pre-school.

He says this puts disabled children, minority groups, refugees, and internally-displaced children at particular risk of missing out on the educational opportunities they deserve.

"Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities," Guterres said.

He said getting students back in classrooms "must be a top priority" once the COVID-19 outbreak has been brought under control.

'Generational Catastrophe' Possible as Pandemic Creates Education Crisis

Antonio Guterres says pandemic has created the largest disruption to education in history   

His comments came as the U.N. launched a new campaign dubbed "Save Our Future," aimed at restoring and bolstering formal education in a post-pandemic world.

Honduras announced Tuesday it will reopen ins airports to domestic flights next week and international flights August 17.

Airports in the Central American country have been closed since March. The coronavirus has brought the struggling Honduran economy to a near crawl. The government hopes that allowing more travel and tourism will give it a boost.

But most public transportation, bars, restaurants, schools, and sports stadiums remain closed.

They're as scarce as the proverbial hen's teeth and will be for many more months – Clorox disinfecting wipes.

Th California-based company said Tuesday grocery store shelves will not be fully stocked again until some time in 2021.

Clorox is the world's top manufacturer of cleaning products and the wipes are its biggest-selling product.

The company says the coronavirus pandemic has created a six-fold demand.

"Disinfecting wipes, which are the hottest commodity in the business right now, will probably take longer because it's a very complex supply chain to make them," Clorox CEO Benno Dorer says. "That entire supply chain is stressed. We feel like it's probably going to take until 2021 before we're able to meet all the demand that we have."

Other companies making disinfectant wipes are also seeing demand outstrip supplies. Stores that manage to receive a shipment limit sales to one package per customer.

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