The World Health Organization on Thursday said that younger people who are “letting down their guard” amid the coronavirus pandemic to enjoy the summer holidays are partly contributing to the rise in new cases in some countries.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing in Geneva that one of the challenges faced by the global body in trying to rein in the pandemic is to convince younger people that they are at risk too. “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: young people are not invincible,” he added. “Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others. That’s why young people must take the same precautions to protect themselves and others as everyone else. They can be leaders and drivers of change.”

The director general said evidence suggests that the recent jump in cases in some countries were being driven by younger people.

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Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on the pandemic, said that night clubs in a number of places had become “amplifiers of transmission” of the virus. “The majority of young people infected tend to have more mild disease,” she added. “But that’s not always consistent.”

A sudden increase in cases in parts of Europe, the United States and Asia has fuelled fears of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The global coronavirus count crossed 1.72 crore and the toll has reached 6.71 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University.