Number of young people infected with COVID-19 on the rise, WHO warns

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More people from young age groups are getting infected with COVID-19, the World Health Organization warned on Friday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 7) — More people from young age groups are getting infected with COVID-19, the World Health Organization warned on Friday.

"We are clearly seeing a very significant increase of proportion of infections in the younger age groups — so in the age groups under five, up to 15, and indeed up to 29 years," WHO country representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe told CNN Philippines' The Final Word.

He reminded that young people are not immune to the coronavirus disease nor to its fatal effects. In a CNN report, the WHO said cases among teens and young adults have gone up six-fold while infections rose seven-fold for very young children and babies.

Abeyasinghe also cautioned the public not to depend on a vaccine since it's still "on the pipeline," and instead urged to prioritize following health safety measures such as physical distancing, cough etiquette and hand hygiene.

"[W]e should not put too much hope on the vaccine because we know that by doing the current practices that we advocate, we can suppress transmission," he cautioned. "For the moment, that is more important."

He added that some 165 candidate vaccines are still undergoing trials with four being tested on thousands of people.

President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier assured that life will return to normal in the country once a vaccine is available. He said China has already committed to sharing a vaccine while Russia also expressed interest in sending some over.