The US could be on the brink of another surge in Coronavirus infections, as per health officials in the country. Many health experts have raised concerns following the eased restrictions on public gatherings and mask mandates in several states across the US.
Health Experts Worry About Another Surge In Covid Cases.
Emergency physician Dr Leana Wen believes that another surge in Coronavirus cases is due to these lifted restrictions; however, this time around, there may be fewer hospitalizations and deaths due to many Americans completing at least their one shot of vaccinations. The Biden Administration started the vaccination drive to inoculate the vulnerable population like seniors and those in nursing homes first.
It’s not just Leana but a number of other doctors and health specialists who have cited their fears. After weeks of declining cases, the case numbers levelled off. This plateauing caused such fears as cases rose exponentially after such plateauing in the past.
Across the country, local leaders and Governors eased restrictions due to fewer Covid cases and more vaccines. Many states have allowed indoor dining at bars, pubs, restaurants, and other facilities like malls and fitness centres.
Another key cause of worry is the new variants, particularly those from South Africa, UK & Brazil, that are currently on the rise in the US. Experts believe that these variants’ resurgence could “wipe out all the progress” if safety measures were lifted too soon. As per Dr Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the B.1.1.7 variant has the potential to become the most dominant variant in the country by the end of this month or early into April.
Currently, cases are rising by more than 10% in 14 states as compared to last week, while half of those states are witnessing twice the percentage, according to data from the John Hopkins University.
The former acting CDC Director, Dr Richard Besser, told of the country waging a two-front war against the Coronavirus, getting their people vaccinated and second, the people’s opinion against the restrictions is causing state Governors to ease restrictions and remove safety mandates. The second war is of particular concern to the ex-director.
According to data from John Hopkins University, many states continue to witness rising cases, like Michigan, with more than a 50% spike in cases this week compared to the last one.
There are a number of factors that could be contributing to rising in local cases, like easing restrictions, removal of mask mandates, Covid-19 fatigue and the new variant B.1.1.7, as per Dr Jennifer Morse, medical director for the Mid-Michigan District Health Department.
Other states like Montana, Delaware, Alabama and West Virginia share a similar story of rising cases like Michigan.
On Wednesday, top health officials like Dr Anthony Fauci told at a hearing that access to inexpensive Covid-19 tests would help control the surge in cases. Recently, the CDC also updated its guidelines regarding Covid-19 testing, as health experts believe that more and better testing could identify asymptomatic cases and curb the rise in infections.
According to CDC data, the vaccination programs, which started in January, are currently underway in the US, with nearly 1 in 8 Americans fully vaccinated, roughly 12% of the population.
Initially, during the first two and a half months of the vaccination programs, counties with high social vulnerability had low vaccine coverage, as compared to counties with low social vulnerability, as per CDC. The social vulnerability index depends on factors like socioeconomic status, household members, racial/ethnic minority status and housing type.
CDC said that achieving vaccine equity was a top priority goal for the agency, with preferential access and administration to be given to those most affected.