United States President Donald Trump has extended the stay-at-home guidelines until the end of April. His initial plan, however, was to get the US economy back by mid-April.
The extension came after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that more than 100,000 Americans could die from the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) – the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease – outbreak.
“We would be extending our guidelines to April 30th, to slow the spread. On Tuesday, we will be finalizing these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data,” Trump said at a press briefing on March 29. Trump also added that the US would be on its way to recovery by June 1, anticipating that a “lot of great things will be happening.”
Consequences of unsuccessful mitigation
According to Dr. Fauci, the pandemic could ultimately kill between 100,000 and 200,000 people in the US if mitigation is unsuccessful.
“I would say between 100 to 200 thousand cases – excuse me, deaths. We are going to have millions of cases. I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection, when it is such a moving target. What we do know, Jake, is that we have a serious problem in New York, we got a serious problem in New Orleans and we are going to be developing serious problems in other areas,” Fauci told CNN host Jake Tapper on March 29.
It has been reported that 56% of new coronavirus infections originate from New York City.
CDC issues travel advisory
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel advisory prohibiting residents in the tri-state area – covering New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – from nonessential domestic travel for the next 14 days. “What you don’t want is people traveling from that area to other areas of the country and inadvertently and innocently infecting other individuals,” Fauci said.
Trump initially suggested on March 28 that a tri-state quarantine might be imposed, but then tweeted that the CDC would be issuing a travel advisory instead.
Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN on March 29 that his city only has enough medical supplies to last one week. “We have enough supplies to get to a week from today with the exception of ventilators. We’re going to need at least several hundred more ventilators very quickly.”
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