The U.S. is experiencing “almost a vertical rise” in the case of Kovid as the Omicron variant shakes the country, but top U.S. epidemic adviser Anthony Fawcett said Sunday that the peak could be a few weeks away.
“We are certainly in the midst of a very serious wave and the number of cases has increased,” Fawcett told ABC News this week, referring to the “growing infection rate” as “truly unprecedented.”
As the virus’s Omicron variant spread around the world, more than 440,000 new cases were reported in the United States on Friday, nearly 200,000 more than the peak in February.
But Fawcett said the South African experience – where the first strain was detected in late November and quickly reached the top, then declined sharply – offered some hope.
Evidence is growing, he added, that Omicron is lighter than its predecessor. Mortality and hospitalization rates in the United States have been much lower than in previous Covid growth in recent weeks.
The United States, like other countries, is struggling to find a balance that will protect public health without causing serious damage to the economy or condemning important services such as policing and air travel.
Returning to school on Monday after the end of the year break, the children, both Fausi and the US Secretary of Education, said they thought personal guidance could be administered safely if proper precautions were taken.
Fawcett again urged parents to ensure that their children were vaccinated, wear masks and be tested if necessary.
“I think putting all these things together, safe enough to bring these kids back to school, is balanced against the harmful effects of keeping them out,” Fawcett said.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said returning to the classroom would be challenging, but necessary.
“I think there will be bumps in the streets, especially tomorrow,” he told Fox News Sunday, adding that a large number of teachers and staff were sick.
“So we’re rolling up our sleeves, putting our hands on the deck. Let’s put our kids in the classroom. That should be our default thought.”
And Eric Adams, who was sworn in as mayor of New York just minutes before the New Year, said that for children – safely – there is no choice but to go back to school.
“We lost almost two years of education,” he told ABC. “We can’t do it again … The safest place for kids is inside the school.”
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)