US health official warns of dangerous second wave

US health official warns of dangerous second wave
At an anti-lockdown protest in Denver a man wearing scrubs challenged demonstrators . Source: Alyson McClaran
3 Min Read

Daily US Times: A US health official has warned that a second wave of coronavirus cases in the country could be even worse than the first.

Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Robert Redfield said the danger was higher as a fresh outbreak would likely coincide with the flu season.

He said a second wave would put “unimaginable strain” on the US health care system.

The US has so far reported more than 800,000 cases – the highest in the world, while according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, more than 45,000 people have so far died with coronavirus across the US.

New Jersey, the worst-hit US state apart from New York, saw its highest increase in deaths in one day, while California had its highest one-day rise in new cases on Monday.

Mr Redfield said in an interview with the Washington Post that “there’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through”.

He urged US officials to prepare for the possibility of having to confront a flu and a coronavirus epidemic at the same time.

‘Really, really difficult’

The CDC directed focused the importance of flu shots, saying getting vaccinated “may allow there to be a hospital bed available for your mother or grandmother that may get coronavirus”.

He said that coronavirus had arrived in the US as the regular flu season was subsiding and argued that if it had arrived at the peak of the winter influenza season, “it could have been really, really, really, really difficult”.

The CDC chief’s warning comes as several US states are moving to ease lockdown restrictions.

Social distancing remained key to curb the spread of the virus, he said, and urged officials to keep stressing its importance even as restrictions on movement were lifted.

He described the recent anti-lockdown protests were “not helpful”.

He urged both the federal and state officials to step up tests to identify those who have coronavirus and the people they have had contact.

To boost up the process, CDC planned to hire more than 650 people, which is more than doubling its current staff – to help with contact tracing among other things.

The CDC was also exploring the possibility of using Census Bureau workers to help with contact tracing he said.

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