Shomporko Desk:-In the span of a week and a half, the number of coronavirus cases in the United States has multiplied, yet authorities are stating this is as yet the first wave of the pandemic.
“We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a Facebook and Twitter Livestream Monday. “I would say, this would not be considered a wave. It was a surge or a resurgence of infections superimposed upon a baseline … that really never got down to where we wanted to go.”
The surge in recent weeks has led to a shortage of hospital beds and threatens to set the U.S. economy back even further. This virus is notorious for how contagious it is — and how easily people can infect others without symptoms, prompting warnings from health officials that the crisis could get even worse after images of packed beaches emerged over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
“We are in free fall,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“You see the footage of what happened this past weekend. And people are either naive to the influence of their actions, or they’re simply resigned to ignore it.”
The rise in cases has also affected the turnaround time for getting COVID-19 test results. Quest Diagnostics said in a statement Monday results now take an average of four to six days, whereas in early June it was two to three days. Similarly, LabCorp told CNN its results are taking two to four days when it had been taking one to two days.
Quest and LabCorp said they plan to increase their testing capacity in July.
On the same Livestream with Fauci on Monday, Dr. Francis Collins, the National Institutes of Health director, tried to reassure Americans the country would get through the pandemic.
“We just need all of the people in America to have that confidence. Keep your optimism, keep your hope and do the right thing,” Collins said, adding that people need to continue sticking with the recommendations of wearing masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing and avoiding cramped spaces indoors.
Almost 3 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19, including a growing number of young adults. More than 130,000 Americans have died from the disease, and some survivors are grappling with long-term complications.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases have exceeded 11.6 million globally, with over 538,395 fatalities and more than 6 million recoveries, according to the latest tally.
Worldwide, at least 11,626,759 people have been confirmed to have the coronavirus infection, 6,315,864 have recovered, and 538,395 people have died, according to Worldometer data.
Photo credit: Getty Images
News source: CNN