USA’s top health expert, Dr Rochelle Walensky, warned the spread of highly contagious virus variant threatening ‘potential fourth surge of Covid cases” in the country.
The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said she was concerned about the number of cases rising as 70,000 new cases a day had been recorded last week – “a very high number”. She added that the daily death tally of 2000 was worrisome.
Dr Walensky said,
“Please hear me clearly: at this level of cases, with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress.”
There are many different versions, or variants, of Covid-19 circulating, but health experts are particularly concerned about a few which appear to be more contagious, including those first detected in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.
The CDC predicts the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant first found in the UK will become the dominant strain in the US this month.
In this situation, Dr Walensky said she was “really worried” about reports of US states “rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from Covid-19”.
“We have the ability to stop a potential fourth surge of cases in this country. Please stay strong in your conviction,” she added.
So far, the US has recorded more than 28 million infections and 500,000 deaths related to Covid-19, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data.