By and large, Coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit older people the hardest. And amid fears that most youth may not be adhering to measures put in place to stymie the deadly virus, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, issued a stern warning against against not taking the disease seriously. The African Union Youth Envoy and the AU Youth Advisory Council have joined the rallying call issuing the following important message for African youth during this unprecedented and growing health crisis:
1. Facts Not Fear: Spread information from reliable sources ONLY including the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Governments! We can’t stop fake news but we can stop spreading them.
2. Prevention Means Hygiene – Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for 40 seconds with soap and water and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
3. Don’t stigmatise and discriminate, we’re in this together!
4. Report your symptoms immediately! Watch out for fever, a sore throat and feeling out of breath.
5. Social Distancing- ensure at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing and avoid crowded places and traveling.
6. COVID-19 is helping us to reduce carbon emissions, let us use all possible innovative tools to keep our work going.
7. The elderly are at greatest risk, let us minimise contact and salute without shaking hands or kissing.
8. Young people will be affected; particularly their education, health and employment, we call on governments to put in place recovery measures.
9. Peer support, mental health and empathy are very critical at this time.
10. Young People, let us be vigilant and stand together in solidarity.