Americans must prepare to further seclude from the coronavirus: the country’s leading expert

Mar 15 (Reuters) – Americans will have to withdraw from public space more than they have done so far as the coronavirus spreads, the country’s leading infectious disease expert said Thursday, which has seen airport chaos. and store shortages due to panic-fueled purchases.

“I think Americans should be prepared to have to seclude themselves far more than we as a country are doing,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Older people and people with underlying conditions should be especially cautious.

Fauci said he currently saw no restrictions on domestic travel, but warned, as he did last week, that the coronavirus outbreak would worsen before it improved.

When asked if he thought the US authorities should impose a 14-day blockade to try to stop the spread of the virus, Fauci said: “You know, I would prefer it as much as possible. I think we should be too aggressive and be criticized later for about reacting. “

With limited evidence available, officials have recorded more than 2,200 cases and 58 deaths in the United States. Country containment measures so far have been light compared to national movement restrictions imposed in Italy, France and Spain.

The virus has infected more than 156,000 people in 142 countries, resulting in more than 5,800 deaths.

Some cities in the United States are taking similar steps to those in Europe.

Hoboken, across the Hudson River from New York City, announced a curfew at 10 p.m. In force from Monday, closed bars and restaurants with delivery and take-away services only.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” show, Fauci acknowledged that the 13,000 respirators that were in stock in the United States may not be enough if the number of cases sharply increases. “What we are trying to do is make sure that the worst case scenario is not reached,” he said.

He added that no hospital system in the world is prepared for a massive increase in coronavirus cases, but the United States has taken action.

“We have inventories and we look forward to replenishing it and continuing to replenish it,” he said. “But I think people should remember, and that is why we want to reduce that curve, that if you let the curve get to that point, the whole of society will be affected.”

Hospitals in the United States, preparing for a large surge in patients, are concerned that closing schools will make it harder for doctors and nurses to work.

They are reaching out to temporary staffing agencies and exploring other ways to maintain workforce levels.

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For an interactive infographic on the global expansion of the coronavirus, click here

(Report by Doina Chiacu and Andrea Shalal in Washington; Written by Lisa Shumaker; Edited in Spanish by Gabriela Donoso)