The United States may soon follow Europe’s path, with a growing resurgence of the coronavirus, as states relax restrictions and more contagious variants become more prominent, the top health official has warned. public of the country.
United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said she had a sense of “impending doom” amid a new wave of infections even as the number of Americans vaccinated continued to increase. Scientists in the country denounce the dangers of relaxing state measures such as mask warrants and capacity restrictions.
“It is just irresponsible to do the kinds of things that you see many governors doing,” as variants spread with millions of people still unvaccinated, said Ashish Jha, dean of the school of public health at Brown University.
As the United States rushes to vaccinate its population – nearly 29% have received at least one dose – the virus could progress further, experts have said. Every time it infects a new person, the possibility increases of additional mutants that could spread faster or escape vaccines.
“The war on Covid-19 is far from won,” President Joe Biden said at the White House on Monday, urging states to maintain masking and social distancing guidelines to avoid a resurgence.
“Absolutely, the signs suggest we should be concerned right now,” said Ellie Murray, assistant professor of epidemiology at Boston University. Although many of the most vulnerable have been vaccinated, “everyone is vulnerable. We really need to get these vaccines in place before we expect things to get under control.”
The latest turning point in the pandemic’s trajectory in the United States follows a fall and winter push. Cases declined steadily from early January to mid-February, before stagnating, falling, falling and then starting to rise again.
Now the country’s vaccination campaign is shifting into high gear, with states expanding eligibility criteria and opening up the offer. New York has expanded its guidelines and Biden said 90% of American adults would be eligible for the vaccination by April 19.
Even so, eligibility does not equate to vaccination: only about 16% of the U.S. population, or 52.6 million people, is fully vaccinated. The campaign prioritized those most at risk and had particular success with older people. Almost three in four people aged 65 and over have received at least one vaccine and almost 50% have been fully immunized.
It is likely that this strategy will reduce the rates of serious illness and death in the event of a further outbreak. Yet younger people can still get sick with Covid-19 and contract severe cases. Hospitalizations related to the virus are now increasing in 25 states, often in patients under 65. Vaccinating them could be the key to saving lives.
“Anyone who gets sick and dies today is someone who would be vaccinated in a month or sooner,” said Jha de Brown.
Jha said he expects a fourth wave of infections in the United States, but the harshest effects will be mitigated by vaccinating vulnerable people. While “you will still see people dying,” he said, “we will not go back to the horrible numbers of December, January”.
Walensky has been a cautious voice at the CDC, telling Americans for weeks that there could still be a resurgence of the virus, but Monday was his strongest statement yet.
“I will reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” Walensky said at a press briefing, his voice strained. “We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential from where we are and so much to hope for, but right now I’m scared.”
Public health experts and modelers have indicated in recent weeks that the trajectory of the US virus is moving in a troubling direction.
The Institute for Health Measurement and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, which produces Covid-19 projections, recently revised its “worst case” scenario, predicting deaths in the United States to rise to 657,000 by July 1 – 57,000 more than in its base scenario. . The projection is based on faster reductions in mask wear, increases in mobility and the spread of the worrisome variants, according to the IHME.
B.1.1.7, a contagious strain that first surfaced in the UK, now accounts for around 26% of all viruses sequenced, Walensky said on Monday. The CDC previously predicted that it could become the dominant coronavirus strain in the United States by March. It is “probably less forgiving and there will be more infections,” Walensky said on Monday.
It is unclear what role variants play in the latest trends as states relax restrictions as the new strains sound the alarm bells, Murray of Boston University said. U.S. genomic surveillance efforts that can help identify variants and their spread have also lagged behind other countries and continue to escalate.
Walensky also criticized the state’s easing of restrictions on Monday and said she was working to persuade governors to slow the pace of the reopening. Officials have also observed an increase in travel and people are tired of the pandemic, she said.
In New Jersey, the number of people hospitalized with the virus rose to 2,225, the highest since February 17. Gov. Phil Murphy increased outdoor gathering limits on Monday, hoping to encourage residents to be socially outside. He said fatigue, variations and still cool temperatures lead to higher cases, as does the density of the condition.
Walensky on Monday compared America’s Covid trends to those of a few weeks ago in the European Union, which has since seen spikes occur.
Daily case totals reached their highest level since November in France, where doctors warned that shortages of intensive care beds were looming. Italy, Germany and other countries are also registering increases. So far, however, deaths are well below levels in previous waves of the pandemic.
In the UK, meanwhile, cases and deaths have fallen to the lowest levels since September. The country is the European leader in immunization, with vaccines administered to more than half of the adult population. Britain eased some lockdown measures on Monday, with more measures planned in the coming months.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by UK Time News staff and is posted Platforms.)