‘Unfair to blame young people for Covid spike’ say University of Portsmouth students

STUDENTS at the city’s university have said it’s unfair to tarnish young people as being the cause of the latest spike in coronavirus cases in Britain.

By Neil Fatkin
Saturday, 19th September 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 19th September 2020, 9:00 am

University of Portsmouth students who spoke to The News said the ‘vast majority’ of young people were complying with government regulations – including the rule of six – and felt they were being made a scapegoat.

The students, who were registering for the university’s asymptomatic testing centre, felt the need to speak out after police were called to what was believed to be a student house party in Southsea in which paramedics had to take an intoxicated 20-year-old woman to hospital.

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University of Portsmouth students, Ellie Albett and Hannah Curtis, both 22, feel it is unfair to blame young people for the recent spike in coronavirus cases. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Third year marketing student, Ellie Ablett, 22, said: ‘I think it’s unfair we’ve been branded as the age group who are spreading the virus as the vast majority of young people are following the rules.

‘There will be a minority who don’t, but I’ve also seen older generations doing this.’

Young people are far less likely to be adversely affected by the virus and have therefore been accused of being complacent.

But Ellie said: ‘A lot of young people are just as anxious. I did once try going on a socially-distanced night out but I found I was so preoccupied with the health risks rather than enjoying myself that I’ve not been out since.’

A recent statement from the Office for National Statistics said: ‘In recent weeks, there has been an increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 aged 17 to 24 years and 25 to 34 years whereas the number of people testing positive aged 50 years and over appears to be stable or declining.’

Student Hannah Curtis, 22, believes the increase is not due to reckless behaviour.

Hannah said: ‘I don’t think it’s fair we’ve been tarred with this brush of irresponsible behaviour.

‘We’ve been encouraged to support the economy with a range of schemes and it’s younger people who’ve helped keep the economy going through either working through lockdown or returning once it was relaxed.

‘Young people are also being encouraged to go back to university and college.’

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