AGENCIES, Washington: While China has reported a drop in new coronavirus infections for a fourth day as imported cases fell, authorities shut the borders to foreign travellers and drastically slashed the number of international flights.
In the US, the pandemic is reaching its peak period and health experts have predicted a grim picture. It’s estimated that at least 200,000 Americans will lose their lives due to the virus.
The initial 15-day period of social distancing enforced by the Donald Trump administration expires today (Monday). Initially, the US President had expressed interest in relaxing the guidelines at least in parts of the country less afflicted by the pandemic, but given the current scenario, he has no option but to extend the deadline.
On Sunday, Trump, extended the voluntary national shutdown for a month to April 30. From the Rose Garden, he said his Easter revival hopes had only been “aspirational.”
Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease expert said the US.could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of infections from the pandemic in the coming days.
Trump, till now has largely avoided talk of potential death and infection rates for America. However, he did cite projection models that said potentially 2.2 million people or more could have died had the country not put social distancing measures in place. And he said the country would be doing well if it “can hold” the number of deaths “down to 100,000.”
“It’s a horrible number,” Trump said, but added: “We all together have done a very good job.”
The US had more than 139,000 COVID-19 cases reported by Sunday evening, with more than 2,400 deaths.