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US cities mandate masks, return to restrictions as Covid-19 infections soar post I-Day weekend

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Washington DC | July 8, 2020 10:11:52 AM IST
The pandemic graph of coronavirus outbreak in the United States, particularly during the post-Independence Day weekend that attracted large crowds of Americans drinking and partying without masks, led to a drastic surge in the number of new infections. Due to this, more states and cities are now returning to re-impose shutdown orders to control the further spread of the disease.

As per The Washington Post, new infections during the first six days of July neared to 300,000 despite President Donald Trump's claim that 99 per cent of coronavirus cases are "harmless". Arizona and Nevada have reported their highest numbers of coronavirus-related hospitalisations in recent days.

The seven-day averages in 12 states hit new highs, with the biggest increases in West Virginia, Tennessee and Montana. The country's rolling seven-day average of daily new cases hit a record high on Monday -- the 28th record-setting day in a row.

Health officials have warned of hospitals running out of space and infection spreading rampantly. In Arizona, 89 per cent of the state's intensive care unit beds were full on Monday morning, the state's Department of Health announced, as the recently hard-hit state surpassed 100,000 cases.

The US is "still knee-deep in the first wave" of the pandemic, Anthony S Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Monday.

He noted that while Europe managed to drive infections down and now is dealing with little blips as it reopens, American communities "never came down to baseline and now are surging back up."

In Miami-Dade County, authorities reversed course on a reopening plan, issuing an emergency order that shut down gyms, party venues and restaurants, with exceptions for takeout and delivery. That order will go into effect on Wednesday. Florida has seen its caseload soar past 10,000 per day and 200,000 overall.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said that the spike has been driven by infections among 18 to 34-year-olds who have been gathering in congested places -- indoors and out -- without wearing masks and maintaining proper distancing.

The US has reported 2.9 million coronavirus cases to date and at least 127,000 people have died of the virus nationwide. The country has had more than twice as many reported deaths as any other nation and accounts for nearly a quarter of all deaths attributed to the virus worldwide.

Public health officials have been pleading with younger people to take the virus crisis more seriously, as new cases among that demographic have driven spikes in several places.

On Monday, Fauci called on young people to realise that they are not "invulnerable to serious consequences" of the virus.

Even though they may not get sick enough to end up in the hospital, they still could get "very sick" for weeks, he said. By getting infected, he added, "they are propagating the outbreak" and might inadvertently infect someone vulnerable, with potentially fatal outcomes.

Trump and his campaign officials have increasingly argued that Americans need to continue to live their lives despite the pandemic. The President has regularly played down the rise in cases, attributing it to expanded testing and has recently emphasised that American deaths have not spiked with new cases. (ANI)

 
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