Health

American experts warn ‘don’t remove the mask’


White House Health Advisor Anthony Fauci recommends not loosen anti-epidemic regulations before cases drop to 10,000 a day.

On March 4, Mr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that deregulation of masks would pose a risk: “This has happened. When measures to protect public health. be removed, new infections have risen again. We really don’t want to celebrate too soon. “

“America should not relax its anti-epidemic principles before the number of cases falls below 10,000 a day. 2 million Americans are vaccinated every day, meaning the number of people protected will increase,” he said. .

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), hopes people will comply with anti-epidemic measures, even as states are lifting restrictions, against CDC recommendations. During the meeting of the Covid-19 Response Group at the White House, Dr. Walensky emphasized: “The CDC recommends very clearly that now is not the time to deregulate.”

Walensky’s comments aimed at the governors of Texas and Mississippi, after they announced they would drop the mask and allow businesses to open up to full capacity, effective immediately or within the next few days. .

Renae Eze, Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s press secretary, announced: “Based on the recovery, vaccination progress, the number of hospital admissions and the safety measures that Texas is taking, the rules are “We have to do more to restore our livelihoods and get our lives back to normal. The governor’s focus is on protecting the lives and livelihoods of the Texans.” .

The governor said district leaders could adopt risk reduction strategies if hospital admissions for Covid-19 in the region exceed 15% of the number of hospital beds for seven consecutive days. However, they cannot punish those who do not wear masks.

In Houston, Dr. Joseph Varon, director of United Memorial Medical Center, said he had asked staff to prepare for the surge in patient hospitalization. “If the state deregulates, I guarantee we will get into trouble by the end of March,” Mr. Varon commented. Austin Mayor Steve Adler was “dumbfounded” at the governor’s announcement and urged residents to continue wearing masks as when required.

In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves said, starting March 3, the state no longer had regulations on masks and allowed businesses to operate at full capacity. Mayors of several cities, including Jackson and Greenville, said they would still urge people to wear masks across the city.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also ditched a number of rules, including limiting a maximum of 300 people to events. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer allows restaurants, retail stores, gyms, stadiums and other facilities to increase capacity. In Louisiana, the majority of businesses will be allowed to operate at 75% capacity as of March 3, while religious ceremonies will no longer limit participants.

On March 4, President Joe Biden harshly criticized states for loosening regulations, saying it was a “big mistake” and “mask” would make a difference. “We are in a crucial moment to fight back the epidemic through vaccination. Don’t think like an old man, don’t assume everything is fine, don’t take off the mask and forget it. The mask is still very good. important, “said Mr. Biden.

Across the United States, leaders in the health sector have urged state governments to wait for the number of people vaccinated to increase and the number of cases to decrease before relaxing safety measures. More dangerous nCoV variants are spreading rapidly and could cause an influx of new infections. “Every individual has the right to do the right thing, no matter what state governments decide,” warned Ms. Walensky.

Online press conference of the Covid-19 Response Group on March 1 with participation of Mr. Fauci and Ms. Walensky. Image: CNN.

Although the current number of Covid-19 cases in the US is much lower than in January, experts recommend caution. The US recorded an average of more than 65,400 new cases per day in the last week of February, far below the highest level (more than 249,700) on Jan. 8.

The current number of cases is close to the summer 2020 peak of 67,030 as of July 20. Also, fewer people seem to have gone for the test, according to the CDC. During the last week of February, about 1.5 million people were tested every day, according to data from the Covid Monitoring Project.

According to the CDC, in the US, more than 51.7 million people have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. More than 26.1 million – about 7.9% of the population – received two full doses. Dr. Fauci said that by the end of May 2021, there will be enough vaccines for adults, and teenagers will still have to wait until fall. It is likely that there will be no vaccines for children under 13 until the first quarter of 2022.

Many vaccination sites in the US have begun offering the recently approved single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson (J&J). On March 4, the vaccination site at the University of Miami Dade plans to provide 500 doses of J&J vaccine and 2,500 doses of Pfizer per day. Here, people can come to inject without pre-registration and can choose the vaccine company when there is enough supply. First come, first served.

Elsewhere, pharmaceutical company Merck has decided to join hands with rival J&J to produce one-dose vaccine. J&J vaccines will help speed vaccinations, governors said. Due to the additional supply of vaccines, a number of states have released guidelines to expand vaccination conditions for citizens.

The CDC warns people who have already had one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine not to replace the second dose with the J&J vaccine. Dr. Sarah Mbaeyi, a medical expert at the CDC, said: “Covid-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. The safety and efficacy of the combination injection have not been evaluated. We look forward to the people. do not mix injections “.

Mai Dung (Follow CNN)

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