THE Director of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simon has called on the growing trend of social media ‘influencers’ to help spread vital information in the fight against COVID-19.

In a press conference at the Ministry of Health, a visibly concerned Illa appealed to ‘Generation Z’ to take responsibility and use their online presence for good.

He said: “It is not worth saying that as I am young I will not suffer and nothing will happen because we know that each young person produces cases later in their family.”

Online ‘influencers’ on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok sometimes have millions of followers who hang on their every word, and this, Simon believes, is an information goldmine.

“For this reason, we must urge the younger generation to take responsibility and use their online visibility to help convey important information to help stop the spread of the virus,” added Simon.

His comments come as experts have announced that they believe ‘social irresponsibility’ particularly amongst the younger generation is behind the dramatic increase in cases. 

“Spain’s position at the top of the table is probably due, in the first place, to low compliance with self-protection measures by some sectors of the population,” said Fernando Rodríguez Artalejo, epidemiologist and professor at Madrid University.

In his damning statement, Artalejo blamed relaxed attitudes during social activities such as family gatherings and at nightlife venues.

The Spanish government is taking measures to help restrict gatherings, such as the closing of nightclubs and curfews on popular beaches, but Juan José Badiola, Professor at the University of Zaragoza believes more should be done.

“We are a very social nation, we hug and kiss, and we enjoy socialising with friends and family.” Badiola told 20 Minutos

“We must change the attitudes of people who believe that the virus has disappeared.”

Despite no talk of another lockdown, Simon concluded “”Make no mistake, things are not going well, lease do not confuse anyone, we can’t let it continue.”

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