US has registered for the last few days the first drop in infections and hospitalizations since the omicron wave began in December, but deaths continue to rise and the White House made a call this Wednesday not to lower our guard and to get vaccinated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average number of daily cases of COVID-19 for the past seven days is 692 thousand 400, 6% less than the previous week, and hospital admissions of 19 thousand 800, 8% less.
“A lot of people are tired, but our hospitals are still facing occupancy problems.”
It is the first time that a setback has been recorded in the United States, the country in the world with the most COVID-19 infections (72.3 million) and deaths (more than 873,000) from the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, while the omicron variable of the coronavirus continues to set records in the rest of the American continent.
But this decrease has not yet translated into the number of deaths, since the average for the last week in the US was 2,200 deaths per day, 21% higher than the previous week, the CDC indicates.
Scientists Advising the President Joe Biden They have always predicted that ómicron would have an explosive advance, but also a rapid decline, as happened in South Africa.
However, it is still too early for the White House to declare victory, since omicron is much more contagious than the previous variants and, although it usually causes less serious illness, its great expansion has filled the country’s hospitals to levels never seen before. throughout the pandemic.
“Many people are tired, but our hospitals still face occupancy problems. It’s been a very long two years, but we have to follow the recommendations that we know work: wear a mask, get vaccinated and receive booster doses,” she asked at a press conference. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
Vaccination is of particular concern to health authorities in a country where the fight against the pandemic has become so politicized that a large part of the population does not trust prevention measures.
CDC data indicates that 63.5% of the US population has received the complete schedule of the vaccine and only 40.3% of those fully vaccinated have received the booster dose, which is available for those over 12 years of age.
The existence of available vaccines is so great that the United States announced this Wednesday that it has so far donated 400 million doses to 112 countries, of the 1,100 that it has promised to deliver to various nations over a year.
In that sense, Walensky stressed that people vaccinated with a booster dose are 68 times less likely to die from COVID-19 than those who are not immunized.
In fact, the number of deaths during the omicron wave has remained at the same levels as in the wave caused by the delta variable last summer, despite the fact that the number of infections has now been five times higher.
The US government’s pandemic response team believes that sooner or later “everyone” will suffer from COVID-19, but trusts that the vaccines help to live with the virus, as is already the case with the flu.
The main epidemiologist of the Government, Anthony Fauci, explained that the objective is that the level of severity of COVID-19 “is low enough for the functioning of society to be relatively normal.”
To face the recent wave of infections, the largest since the start of the pandemic, the United States Government has expanded the age groups that can receive the booster dose, has enabled a website to request free tests and has announced the distribution of 400 million masks and the purchase of 20 million antiviral pills.
But it has also been criticized for its sometimes confusing and contradictory health guidelines.
Given the lack of personnel in hospitals, the CDC recommended at the end of December to lift the quarantine of asymptomatic patients after five days without the need for a negative test, which was criticized by medical associations.