MANILA AFP, 18 Aug, 2020- Coronavirus cases in Asia-Pacific countries are now being driven by people under the age of 50 who may not know they are infected, the World Health Organisation said Tuesday, warning of a “new phase” in the pandemic.
Many have mild or no COVID-19 symptoms and risk infecting the elderly and other vulnerable populations, the WHO’s Western Pacific regional director Takeshi Kasai told a virtual briefing.
“The epidemic is changing. People in their 20s, 30s and 40s are increasingly driving the threat,” Kasai said.
“Many are unaware they’re infected with very mild symptoms or none at all.
“What we are observing is not simply a resurgence. I believe it’s a signal that we’ve entered a new phase of the pandemic in the Asia-Pacific (region).” WHO data on the current phase of the contagion showed around two-thirds of Japan’s infections were among those aged under 40.
More than half of the caseloads in the Philippines and Australia were also in that age group.