Healthcare workers treat patients inside a Covid-19 ICU at a field hospital in the Heliopolis favela of Sao Paulo, Brazil.(Bloomberg)
Healthcare workers treat patients inside a Covid-19 ICU at a field hospital in the Heliopolis favela of Sao Paulo, Brazil.(Bloomberg)

‘Category 5 hurricane status’: US epidemiologist on global Covid-19 situation

  • More than 130 million cases of coronavirus and over 2.84 million related deaths have been reported so far, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kunal Gaurav
PUBLISHED ON APR 04, 2021 10:56 PM IST

Amid a worrying surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in several countries, an infectious disease expert has predicted that the world would witness the highest number of daily caseloads reported globally in the next two weeks. During NBC’s Meet the Press show, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said that the world is at “category 5 hurricane status”, indicating that the ongoing surge would lead to the highest daily cases since the start of the pandemic.

“Let me say that, at this time, we really are in a category 5 hurricane status with regard to the rest of the world,” Osterholm said. “At this point, we will see in the next two weeks, the highest number of cases reported globally since the beginning of the pandemic,” he added.

The highest number of daily Covid-19 cases globally was reported in December 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) data, but the numbers gradually declined amid the vaccination drive. However, another surge in Covid-19 cases in countries like India, the US, Brazil, Italy, and Germany has raised fresh concerns about the ongoing health crisis.

“In terms of the United States, we’re just at the beginning of this surge, we haven’t even really begun to see it yet,” the American epidemiologist said.

On Friday, India added the most number of Covid-19 cases than any other country, surpassing the US in the number of new infections reported on average. The daily Covid-19 cases have shot up 10 times in a span of 50 days, according to the Union health ministry data. Last week, Brazil recorded its highest ever daily deaths related to Covid-19 as states across the Latin American nation are seeing ICU bed shortages.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert of the US, on Saturday warned that the United States may be on the cusp of another Covid-19 surge if Americans aren't careful. Fauci told CNN that there is a need to doubling down on public health measures and get as many people vaccinated as quickly to escape the surge.

According to the Coronavirus Resource Center of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, more than 130 million cases of coronavirus and over 2.84 million related deaths have been reported so far. The United States remains the worst-hit country in terms of total Covid-19 cases and related deaths, followed by Brazil.

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