US government is preparing for the possibility of a coronavirus pandemic that could last up to 18 months and ‘include multiple waves of illness’


(CNN)The federal government is preparing for the possibility the coronavirus pandemic could last up to 18 months or longer and “include multiple waves of illness,” a report obtained by CNN shows, as the number of the cases in the US surpassed 10,000.

While the document does not say the Trump administration believes the pandemic will last that long, it indicates officials have to assume a longer timeline to ensure preparedness.
The plan also outlines the risks posed by a shortage of medical equipment — an issue hospitals are already dealing with as the outbreak in the US shows no signs of slowing.
More than 2,700 new cases were reported in the US in the 24 hours from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. In total, more than 10,200 people across the country have tested positive for the virus, as of late Thursday morning. At least 152 have died.
The US government announced this week it would help make up for potential medical supply shortages and deploy two hospital ships to help increase medical capacity.
“I view it as, in a sense, of wartime president,” President Donald Trump said in a news conference Wednesday. “I mean, that’s what we’re fighting. It’s a very tough situation here.”
To slow the spread of the virus, governors across the country sprang into action this week, implementing drastic measures such as shutting down schools, transitioning bars and restaurants to only take-out services and putting a ban on mass gatherings.
Some city leaders in California — including San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed who was the first to enact such a policy — have instructed their residents to “shelter-in-place” and leave their home only if absolutely necessary.
About 10 million residents are under such an order. Solano County, the latest to join other Bay Area counties in implementing it, told residents to stay put until April 7.
“We are taking this health crisis seriously and trying to protect our community while still ensuring that the essential parts of our county can function and attempting to lessen the substantial burden placed on workers and businesses,” Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County public health officer said in a statement.
But in many communities across the US, that burden has proved massive, with some hospitals saying they are down to days’ worth of equipment.

Comments are closed.