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Our young people need a break now

Prof Luke O'Neill


Ireland can look to other countries to see what works and what doesn't in the fight to beat virus, writes Prof Luke O'Neill

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City lights of Europe. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

City lights of Europe. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

City lights of Europe. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

The Covid-19 focus has shifted to young people. More of them are becoming infected and health authorities across Europe are concerned that they are a significant cause of the worrying increase in case numbers happening in several European countries. More young people are also becoming infected in Ireland, with the median age of new cases now at 33. They are also in our minds because we want them to go back to school and college.

The increase in case numbers is leading to annoyance in Europe. Many thought Europe had almost beaten Covid-19 and could look on what is happening in the US with dismay. Not so. The Belgian government has warned that another 'complete lockdown' is on the cards. Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes has said: "If we can't reduce the coronavirus, it will be a collective failure."

France's health minister is begging for greater vigilance. Health advisers there have said: "There's everything at risk in the next three weeks because we're entering the dangerous period." In Germany, health advisers are "deeply concerned". Meanwhile, in Spain, experts have stated: "We're in the 10 most important days of summer. The situation is critical and if we don't manage it, we will have to go backwards."