Coronavirus causing fear and suffering among older population: UN secretary-general

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The United Nations secretary-general says the COVID-19 pandemic is causing untold fear and suffering for older people around the world who are dying at a higher rate, and especially for those over the age of 80 whose fatality rate is five times the global average.

Antonio Guterres said Friday that beyond the health risks, the pandemic is putting older people at greater risk of poverty, with an especially devastating impact on the elderly in developing countries.

The U.N. chief launched a 16-page policy briefing on the impact of COVID-19 on older people with several key messages, most importantly that no person, young or old, is expendable and older people have the same rights to life and health as everyone else.

Mr. Guterres also called for improved social support and smarter efforts to use digital technology to reach older people who may face great suffering because of isolation and restrictions on their movements.

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