US Covid-19 cases surge to over 14.5 million
Healthcare workers wheeling a patient outside Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, the United States, on December 3, 2020. Michael Nagle/Xinhua/IANS

US Covid-19 cases surge to over 14.5 million

Washington, December 6, 2020

In another grim milestone, the number of coronavirus cases in the US have surged to more than 14.5 million, while the deaths have increased to over 281,130, the two tallies currently the highest in the world.

In its latest update on Sunday, the Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the country's overall caseload and death toll stood at 14,575,623 and 281,134, respectively.

On Friday, the US reported 225,201 new Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike since the onset of the pandemic in the country, currently the worst-hit in the world.

On December 1, the country had set a world record of single-day case count, as 196,227 new cases were reported and hospitalizations exceeded 100,000 for the first time.

Due to the unabated resurgence, California, one of the worst-hit, will enter a new stay-at-home order on Sunday night, as many parts of the state have hit the 15 per cent or lower threshold for intensive care unit (ICU) capacity.

Based on the latest ICU data, the 11-county Southern California region which includes Los Angeles County, and San Joaquin Valley region in Central California, have dropped below 15 per cent ICU capacity, said the California Department of Public Health in a statement.

The two regions are home to around 27 million people in the most populous state in the US with a population of around 40 million.

In its latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC cautioned that the US is experiencing "high levels of" Covid-19 transmission.

Noting that pandemic control requires "a multipronged application of evidence-based strategies", the CDC highlighted a series of measures including universal face mask use, physical distancing and avoiding non-essential indoor spaces.

"Compelling evidence now supports the benefits of cloth face masks for both source control (to protect others) and, to a lesser extent, protection of the wearer.

"A community-level plan for distribution of face masks to specific populations, such as those who might experience barriers to access, should be developed," the CDC added.

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned last week that the next three months will be "the most difficult" in public health history.


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