WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- All 50 states in America have been infected by the coronavirus.
- The outbreak control could have been gone out of hand given the shortage of test kits.
- Last Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and said that “half a million tests will be available by early next week.”
Infection caused by the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, now infiltrates all 50 states in America — closed by a confirmed case in West Virginia, the recent remaining state free of the virus.
The first case in the US, as identified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on January 20, was in Washington state. The patient had a travel history to Wuhan, China.
Despite containment of the early cases, the number of infected individuals spikes this month, coming from the west coast—Washington, California and Oregon. The virus was not strictly controlled given the shortage of coronavirus test kits.
Many Americans have been denied to get tested as they don’t meet the given requirements such as having traveled to a country where the virus had widely spread. Travelers, who have made contact with infected patients but are asymptomatic, were also denied, according to The New York Times. This is contrary to what President Donald Trump mentioned that anybody can get tested if they wanted to.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the US lags behind other developed countries in terms of virus diagnostic services given to the public. For instance, in South Korea, more than 10,000 individuals are being tested each day for the past weeks.
When Fauci was asked about the testing in a congressional hearing last week, he mentioned that the current system is not tailored-fit to what the country needs as of the moment. “This is a failing. It is a failing. Let’s admit it… The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we’re not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes. But we’re not.”
To control the spread of the virus, states have taken measures such as closing schools and restricting public events. New Rochelle, a New York suburb, has placed its people under official containment for outbreak control.
According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the government containment “is a dramatic action” but something that has to be done. He said, “The numbers are going up unabated, and we do need a special public healthy strategy.”
Last Friday, the president declared a national emergency in light of the pandemic — allocating disaster relief funds worth $50 billion to states as a call to action. Trump also announced that half a million tests would be delivered to the country by early next week.