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US: The number of new cases of COVID-19 increased again in many regions

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Medical staff transport a COVID-19 patient to a hospital in Coral Gables, USA. Photo: AFP/VNA

Currently, US officials are pressing Congress to approve new funding for COVID-19 prevention and treatment.

Currently, the US averages 28,600 new cases per day, much lower than the most recent peak of more than 800,000 cases per day in January. The number of deaths is currently at an average of about 900 cases/day.

However, AFP news agency quoted the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ms. Rochelle Walensky, as saying that there were early signs of a new wave of epidemics. New York State as well as New York City have recorded an increase in the number of new cases, although still at a low level. The New England area reported an increase in hospitalizations for COVID-19 and this is the locality where the BA.2 subvariant causes 50% of the total cases.

The results of wastewater analysis – an early warning measure of the disease situation – also showed a small increase in the amount of SARS-CoV-2 virus in some communities.

According to the scientists, BA.2 does not appear to cause more severe disease than the original Omicron variant nor its BA.1 subline, but is more contagious. BA.2 infections currently account for 35% of all COVID-19 cases in the US and it is likely that this will soon become the mainstream variant in the US.

Meanwhile, the US Congress last week refused to add $22.5 billion to the budget to strengthen the response, control the epidemic in the long term and prepare for the situation when new variants appear as well as the number of infections increases. return.

US Health Secretary Xavier Becerra said that during this period, resources have been exhausted, the fund that Congress established to spend on doctors and health care workers caring for COVID-19 patients in the US, especially especially the uninsured, has no longer accepted new claims for payment for testing or treatment services as of March 23.

Minister Xavier Becerra added that around April 5, it is likely that there will be no money left to cover new medical claims. Funding for monoclonal antibody treatment in the states has also been cut by 35%, and resources for this treatment are expected to run out by May.

The White House COVID-19 response coordinator, Jeff Zient, said the country now has a sufficient supply of the vaccine for a fourth shot for those with weakened immunity and possibly the elderly, if approved in the coming weeks. However, if scientists think that this booster shot is needed for people by the end of this year, the vaccine supply will not be guaranteed. Mr. Zient called on the National Assembly to consider and make the right decisions to strengthen epidemic prevention efforts, thereby limiting the risk of more deaths from COVID-19.

Also related to this issue, according to the Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Washington, the executive director of the American Association of Public Health Laboratories, Scott Becker, warned that the US may once again face the risk of a shortage of test kits. test COVID-19 if the National Assembly does not pass the anti-pandemic budget bill and if the outbreak continues to be more serious.

Politico newspaper quoted expert Scott Becker as saying that the US repeated similar mistakes last summer, when testing demand plummeted and test kit manufacturers scaled back their operations.

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