Nearly two months since the first US coronavirus case, the federal government is now preparing for a pandemic that could last up to 18 months or longer and “include multiple waves of illness, according to a report obtained by US network, CNN.
Hospitals have already sounded the alarm on quickly vanishing supplies as the outbreak in the US shows no signs of slowing.
More than 2,700 new cases were reported in the US in the 24 hours from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. In total, nearly 9,000 people across the country have tested positive for the virus. At least 149 have died.
The US government announced this week it would help make up for potential medical supply shortages and deploy two hospital ships to help increase medical capacity.
“I view it as, in a sense, of wartime president,” President Donald Trump said in a news conference Wednesday. “I mean, that’s what we’re fighting. It’s a very tough situation here.”
Some city leaders in California—including San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed who was the first to enact such a policy—have instructed their residents to “shelter-in-place” and leave their home only if absolutely necessary.
About 10 million residents are under such an order. Solano County, the latest to join other Bay Area counties in implementing it, told residents to stay put until April 7.
“We are taking this health crisis seriously and trying to protect our community while still ensuring that the essential parts of our county can function and attempting to lessen the substantial burden placed on workers and businesses,” Dr Bela Matyas, Solano County public health officer said in a statement. But in many communities across the US, that burden has proved massive, with some hospitals saying they are down to days’ worth of equipment.