The United States is once again the centre of attention for the new coronavirus after it was reported a considerable increase in cases of infected and the possibility that Americans infected with SARS-CoV-2 are ten times more than those confirmed so far.
The concern increased this Thursday 25 when the number of confirmed cases with COVID-19 exceeded 39,000 in one day, a record number that leaves behind 38,115 at the end of April, considered the peak of the pandemic.
Experts point to the reopening of the economy—which began about a month ago, the 50 US states —and the fatigue generated by quarantine as those responsible for these high indices; because many people refuse to follow the rules of social estrangement. This uptick was announced, as in May the scientific community warned of the risk of “new spikes.”
Health authorities set off alarms
The number of Americans infected with coronavirus was ten times higher than the number of confirmed cases sounded like a bomb in the ears of many when stated by the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield.
“Our best estimate now is that for every case that is reported there are actually ten other infections,” Redfield said on June 25, at a telephone press conference, in which he explained that to reach this conclusion they relied on blood samples collected across the country in search of antibodies to the outbreak, and for the results concluded that for every infected person there are 10 more.
Currently, there are about 2.3 million cases detected in the US, according to the CDC, —while Johns Hopkins University reports more than 2.4 million infected people, so with this new estimate, the total cases in the northern nation could exceed 23 million.
“This virus causes a lot of asymptomatic infection, the traditional approach of looking for symptomatic disease and diagnosing it obviously underestimates the total number of infections,” said Redfield.
According to the manager, this data assume that between 5 and 8% of the population would have contracted the virus, which means that a large part of the country’s population has the possibility of being infected. “A significant majority of the American public, probably greater than 90% of the American public, remains susceptible,” he warned.
The virus moves south
The CDC director explained that, contrary to the previous trend, young people have driven the increase in cases in the US, particularly in the south and west of the country.
According to their data, states such as Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and Nevada reported daily highs during the last day. While Johns Hopkins University notes that Florida registered more than 5,500 infections on June 24, its peak during the pandemic. And it keeps states like South Carolina, Arizona and Arkansas in the red.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott did not give it much thought and decided to temporarily suspend the reopening of his territory.
“This temporary pause will help our state to corner the spread (of the virus) until we can safely enter the next phase of reopening,” he said, and another time he told his fellow citizens that “unless there is an urgent need to get out. There is no safer place at this time than their homes. “
In his press appearance, the CDC director asked Americans to take every precaution to minimize the proliferation of the virus: “The most powerful tool (to fight the coronavirus) that we have is social distance. This means maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet in public, wearing face covers and following hand wash,” he recalled.
“As we go into the fall, into the winter, those (measures) are going to be very, very important defense mechanisms,” said Redfield, whose message contradicts that of US President Donald Trump, who refuses to use a mask in public and has played down the threat of the virus and has repeatedly said that “it is dissipating, it is going to dissipate.”
But the figures do not lie and reveal the president since according to Johns Hopkins University, 124,400 people have died in the country. Something that was highlighted by BBC correspondent in Washington Jon Sopel, who pointed out that “the US war against the invisible enemy, as Trump likes to call it”, has killed more Americans in a matter of three months than the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan in 44 years.