Officials are racing to get a handle on the novel coronavirus as the number of deaths nears 1,000 in the United States and cases in two of the hardest hit states — California and New York — quickly multiply.
“We originally thought that it would be doubling every six to seven days and we see cases doubling every three to four days,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency.
There are now more than 65,000 cases of coronavirus across the US, and fatalities have reached 938. The numbers spiked Wednesday — the deadliest day for reporting of US cases of coronavirus — with 223 deaths reported that day alone. Just four days prior, the death toll stood at 326 people.
To understand the spike in cases, health officials need to increase testing, identify infected people and isolate them while tracing who they have had contact with, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo Primetime” Wednesday.
The world missed the first opportunity to control the virus, but now there is a second opportunity to act, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing in Geneva on Wednesday.
“This virus is public enemy number one,” Tedros said.
The action is especially important because Fauci said Wednesday that even when the virus is contained, it likely won’t be completely stopped.
“We’ve got to develop drugs so that when we come around next year, it is not like this again,” he told Cuomo. “Never again like this.”