WHO looking into safety of hugs for grandparents

Most statistics show the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions have been the overwhelming majority of victims who have died from the pandemic.

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Spain Remains In Lockdown As Coronavirus Infection Rate Slows

The photographer’s son and daughter, Joel and Julia, speak with their grandparents during Julia’s birthday party on April 13, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. More than 17,000 people are reported to have died in Spain due to the COVID-19 outbreak, although the country has reported a decline in the daily number of deaths.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

GENEVA — A top World Health Organization official says the U.N. health agency is looking into whether grandparents can safely hug their grandchildren without risk of contracting the coronavirus.

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The comments from Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead of WHO’s emergencies program, come after a top Swiss health official this week suggested that grandparents could hold young grandchildren — under age 10 — close without risk of contracting COVID-19 disease.

Most statistics show the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions have been the overwhelming majority of victims who have died from the pandemic.

At a WHO news conference, Van Kerkhove acknowledged that many grandparents “are dying to hug their children, grandchildren” and said the issue was one of the “living reviews” conducted by WHO.

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