US crosses 2m mark amidst relapse warnings

Updated 12 Jun 2020

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In the United States, the spread followed gradual reopening in all 50 states after months of social distancing and mandated quarantining.  — AFP/File
In the United States, the spread followed gradual reopening in all 50 states after months of social distancing and mandated quarantining. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: The United States has hit the two million-mark for confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, two major monitoring agencies reported on Thursday.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported that the US had registered two million Covid-19 cases by late Wednesday. The center had recorded about 2,004,000 cases by Thursday afternoon.

Another monitoring agency, Worldometers, reported 2,069,973 cases, including new 3,572 cases recorded on Thursday. The agency also reported a total of 115,242 deaths across the United States, including 112 who died on Thursday.

Both agencies also reported more than seven million infections and 420,000 global deaths, caused by this respiratory disease which still has no cure or preventive medicine.

In the United States, the spread followed gradual reopening in all 50 states after months of social distancing and mandated quarantining. Some states including Florida, Texas, Oregon and Arizona have already reported spikes in cases.

Earlier on Thursday, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) projected that infections in the US would reduce noticeably this summer but can bounce back in winter. The institute warned that tens of thousands more people could get infected and die in the months ahead if precautionary measures, such as social distancing, were not observed strictly.

Basing its projection on the latest available data, the institute reported that cumulative Covid-19 deaths could reach 145,728, within an estimate range of 136,633 to 166,185, by August.

These cumulative estimates are higher than those found in the institute’s June 5 report, which projected 140,496 deaths, with an estimate range of 134,395 to 146,999. This is also higher than its May 29 projection of 135,109 deaths, with an estimate range of 123,344 to 157,715.

The United States hit one million cases in late April, and 100,000 deaths last month. US deaths are now over 115,000. US recoveries rest at over 533,500. Original projections put US deaths at a likely 100,000 to 200,000 in total.

“If the US is unable to check the growth in September, we could be facing worsening trends in October, November and the following months if the pandemic, as we expect, follows pneumonia seasonality,” IHME director Dr Christopher Murray told CNN.

According to this report, all US locations have seen at least some degree of heightened mobility since their lowest levels in late March to early April; however, the degree to which states have returned to baseline mobility patterns widely varies.

Nationwide, the US is now at approximately 32 percent lower mobility than baseline, up by 20 percentage points since the country’s nadir mobility in early April.

IHME, however, alerted public that “rising mobility may not inherently translate to heightened virus transmission risk, and thus Covid-19 infection, if appropriate health and safety measures are taken.”

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2020