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US News The U.S. Now Leads the World in Confirmed Coronavirus Cases

04:30  27 march  2020
04:30  27 march  2020 Source:   msn.com

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A line for coronavirus testing outside of Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens on Wednesday.Credit Dave Sanders for The New York Times.

As cases in New York soar and outbreaks in other U . S . locations edge higher, the coronavirus crisis has sowed divisions The world ’ s refugee camps are bracing. With 28 confirmed cases , Kenya has shuttered schools, banned religious gatherings, suspended international flights and introduced an

(Video by AFP)

Scientists warned that the United States someday would become the country hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. That moment arrived on Thursday.

In the United States, at least 81,321 people are known to have been infected with the coronavirus, including more than 1,000 deaths — more cases than China, Italy or any other country has seen, according to data gathered by The New York Times.

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The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in New York State doubled on Thursday to 22, with officials announcing two With the numbers of coronavirus cases soaring and experts putting out varying estimates of death rates, it can be hard to keep track of what all the numbers mean.

The Times is engaged in a comprehensive effort to track the details of every confirmed case in the United States, collecting information from federal, state and local officials.

a group of people at a train station: A line for coronavirus testing outside of Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens on Wednesday. © Dave Sanders for The New York Times A line for coronavirus testing outside of Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens on Wednesday.

With 330 million residents, the United States is the world’s third most populous nation, meaning it provides a vast pool of people who can potentially get Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

And it is a sprawling, cacophonous democracy, where states set their own policies and President Trump has sent mixed messages about the scale of the danger and how to fight it, ensuring there was no coherent, unified response to a grave public health threat.

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On Sunday, the leading U . S . expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony S . Fauci, said that it was possible that regional lockdowns could The coronavirus has unnerved investors as it spreads, clouding the prospects for global growth. The number of cases around the world continues to rise.

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A series of missteps and lost opportunities dogged the nation’s response.

Gallery: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world (Photo Services) 

Among them: a failure to take the pandemic seriously even as it engulfed China, a deeply flawed effort to provide broad testing for the virus that left the country blind to the extent of the crisis, and a dire shortage of masks and protective gear to protect doctors and nurses on the front lines, as well as ventilators to keep the critically ill alive.

“This could have been stopped by implementing testing and surveillance much earlier — for example, when the first imported cases were identified,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York.

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“If these are the cases we’ve confirmed, how many cases are we still missing?” she added.

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) © ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

China’s leaders, stung by the SARS epidemic in 2003 and several bird flu scares since then, were slow to respond to the outbreak that began in the city of Wuhan, as local officials suppressed news of the outbreak.

But China’s autocratic government acted with ferocious intensity after the belated start, eventually shutting down swaths of the country. Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan quickly began preparing for the worst.

The United States instead remained preoccupied with business as usual. Impeachment. Harvey Weinstein. Brexit and the Oscars.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Harvey Weinstein enters a Manhattan court house as a jury continues with deliberations in his trial on February 24, 2020 in New York City. On Friday the judge asked the jury to keep deliberating after they announced that they are deadlocked on the charges of predatory sexual assault. Weinstein, a movie producer whose alleged sexual misconduct helped spark the #MeToo movement, pleaded not-guilty on five counts of rape and sexual assault against two unnamed women and faces a possible life sentence in prison. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Harvey Weinstein enters a Manhattan court house as a jury continues with deliberations in his trial on February 24, 2020 in New York City. On Friday the judge asked the jury to keep deliberating after they announced that they are deadlocked on the charges of predatory sexual assault. Weinstein, a movie producer whose alleged sexual misconduct helped spark the #MeToo movement, pleaded not-guilty on five counts of rape and sexual assault against two unnamed women and faces a possible life sentence in prison. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Only a few virologists recognized the threat for what it was. The virus was not influenza, but it had the hallmarks of the 1918 Spanish flu: relatively low lethality, but relentlessly transmissible.

Cellphone videos leaking out of China showed what was happening as it spread in Wuhan: dead bodies on hospital floors, doctors crying in frustration, rows of unattended coffins outside the crematories.

What the cameras missed — in part because Beijing made Western journalists’ lives difficult by withholding visas and imposing quarantines — was the slow, relentless way China’s public health system was hunting down the virus, case by case, cluster by cluster, city by city.

For now, at least, China has contained the coronavirus with draconian measures. But the pathogen had embarked on a Grand Tour of most countries on Earth, with devastating epidemics in Iran, Italy, France. More videos emerged of prostrate victims, exhausted nurses and lines of coffins.

WUHAN, March 19, 2020 . Medical workers from north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region massage patients' acupuncture points at the Wuhan pulmonary hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, March 19, 2020. The medical workers treat COVID-19 patients with traditional Chinese medicine ,TCM, therapies to help patients alleviate headache, improve sleeping quality and gastrointestinal function. (Photo by Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu via Getty Images) © Xinhua News Agency WUHAN, March 19, 2020 . Medical workers from north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region massage patients' acupuncture points at the Wuhan pulmonary hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, March 19, 2020. The medical workers treat COVID-19 patients with traditional Chinese medicine ,TCM, therapies to help patients alleviate headache, improve sleeping quality and gastrointestinal function. (Photo by Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu via Getty Images)

The United States, which should have been ready, was not. This country has an unsurpassed medical system supported by trillions of dollars from insurers, Medicare and Medicaid. Armies of doctors transplant hearts and cure cancer.

The public health system, limping along on local tax receipts, kills mosquitoes and traces the contacts of people with sexually transmitted diseases. It has been outmatched by the pandemic.

There was no Pentagon ready to fight the war on this pandemic, no wartime draft law. There was eventually a White House Coronavirus Task Force, but it has been led by politicians, not medical experts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of the great disease-detective agencies in the world, and its doctors have contributed mightily in skirmishes against Ebola, Zika and any number of other health threats.

California National Guard troops package food bags to assist elderly volunteer workers in home-confinement at FIND Food Bank during coronavirus disease (COVID-19) efforts in Indio, California, U.S., March 26, 2020.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson © Thomson Reuters California National Guard troops package food bags to assist elderly volunteer workers in home-confinement at FIND Food Bank during coronavirus disease (COVID-19) efforts in Indio, California, U.S., March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

But the agency retreated into silence, its director, Dr. Robert Redfield, almost invisible — humbled by a fiasco in the failure to produce basic diagnostic testing.

Now at least 160 million Americans have been ordered to stay home in states from California to New York. Schools are closed, often along with bars, restaurants and many other businesses. Hospitals are coping with soaring numbers of patients in New York City, even as supplies of essential protective gear and equipment dwindle.

Other hospitals, other communities fear what may be coming.

“We are the new global epicenter of the disease,” said Dr. Sara Keller, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

A researcher from the Institute of Biology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) works to develop a new test to detect coronavirus infections in people, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 25, 2020. Picture taken March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Landau © Thomson Reuters A researcher from the Institute of Biology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) works to develop a new test to detect coronavirus infections in people, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 25, 2020. Picture taken March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Landau

“Now, all we can do is to slow the transmission as much as possible by hunkering down in our houses while, as a country, we ramp up production of personal protective equipment, materials needed for testing, and ventilators.”

The world will be a different place when the pandemic is over. India may surpass the United States as the country with the most deaths. Like the United States, it, too, is a vast democracy with deep internal divisions. But its population, 1.3 billion, is far larger, and its people are crowded even more tightly into megacities.

China could still stumble into a new round of contagion as its economy restarts, and be forced to do it all again.

In the meantime, with the virus loose in the streets while millions of Americans huddle indoors, when will it be safe to come out and go back to work?

BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 11: A Chinese man wears a protective mask as he and others have their temperature checked by a guard at a temporary entrance to a commercial area on March 11, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of the deadly new coronavirus COVID-19 being treated in China dropped to below 16,500 in mainland China Wednesday, in what the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global public health emergency last month. China continued to lock down the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease but has moved to ease restrictions in other parts of the province. Officials in Beijing have put in place a mandatory 14 day quarantine for all people returning to the capital from other places in China and abroad. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to over 3160 on Wednesday, mostly in Hubei province, and cases have been reported in many other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, Iran, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and several others. The World Health Organization has warned all governments to be on alert and raised concerns over a possible pandemic. Some countries, including the United States, have put restrictions on Chinese travellers entering and advised their citizens against travel to China.(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 11: A Chinese man wears a protective mask as he and others have their temperature checked by a guard at a temporary entrance to a commercial area on March 11, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of the deadly new coronavirus COVID-19 being treated in China dropped to below 16,500 in mainland China Wednesday, in what the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global public health emergency last month. China continued to lock down the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease but has moved to ease restrictions in other parts of the province. Officials in Beijing have put in place a mandatory 14 day quarantine for all people returning to the capital from other places in China and abroad. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to over 3160 on Wednesday, mostly in Hubei province, and cases have been reported in many other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, Iran, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and several others. The World Health Organization has warned all governments to be on alert and raised concerns over a possible pandemic. Some countries, including the United States, have put restrictions on Chinese travellers entering and advised their citizens against travel to China.(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

“The virus will tell us,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a preventive medicine specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical School.

When a baseline of daily testing is established across the country, a drop in the percentage of positive tests will signal that the virus has found as many hosts as it can for the moment, and is beginning to recede.

When hospital admissions have hit a clear peak and begun to plateau, “we can feel optimistic,” Dr. Schaffner said. “And when they begin to drop, we can begin to smile.”

That moment may arrive this summer. But as soon as the first of Americans begin venturing cautiously out, we will have to start planning for the second wave.

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Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.  

What the papers say – March 20 .
The first coronavirus vaccine trial in the UK and a message from the Queen make the papers on Friday.The Times leads with words from the Queen saying Britain must “come together to work as one”, while the paper also reports on the first medical trials of vaccines beginning in the UK.

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