The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that new, highly transmissible Covid-19 strains "stand to reverse" the nation's control of the pandemic and could "undermine all of our efforts" against the disease if the virus were left to proliferate in numerous parts of the globe.
In recent weeks, top U.S. health officials have cautioned that the advent of highly infectious strains, particularly the B.1.1.7 strain that emerged in the U.K., could reverse the current downward path in U.S. infections and hinder the recovery of the nation from the pandemic.
The dilemma is not separate from the US. It creates large amounts of copies of itself as the coronavirus spreads, and each variant is a little different from the one before it, experts claim. When more persons get infected, the more likely it is that there may be problematic mutations.
“Even if you were not necessarily leaning towards wanting to be part of the global health effort, we need to because all of the efforts that we’re doing, that we are moving forward here in this nation, could be potentially undermined in a heartbeat from these variants emerging,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said to the National Academy of Medicine and the American Public Health Association.
Scientists are not shocked by the variants' existence and have affirmed that the vaccines currently available can still operate against them, although they may not be as successful against the initial "wild" strain.
On Wednesday, Moderna said that it delivered to the National Institutes of Health several doses of a booster shot that directly targets the variant circulating in South Africa, known as the B.1.351 strain.
“We know this virus knows no geographic borders and addressing this reality is more pressing than ever before, given the rapid proliferation of Covid-19 variants that stand to reverse the progress that has been made to control this pandemic,” Walensky noted.
According data published by CNBC, the U.S. records a weekly total of about 71,562 new Covid-19 cases per day, a 12 percent decrease compared to a week ago and a substantial decline from when the average new cases in the U.S. peaked at nearly 250,000 cases a day in early January.
While not every nation is experiencing equal reductions, according to the new World Health Organisation situation report issued on Tuesday, global Covid-19 cases in the U.S. have fallen for six consecutive weeks as of Sunday.
As countries race to prescribe their initial doses of Covid-19 vaccines, the fall is good news. However, although some countries have been delivering vaccines since December, some are now starting to get their initial vaccinations.
On Wednesday in Ghana, the first shipment of vaccines distributed by the COVAX initiative of the World Health Organisation arrived. Some experts have recently said that reasonable delivery of vaccinations could be too late because wealthy nations have made their own agreements with suppliers of vaccines, demanding their original dose availability.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of how interconnected we are as a global community,” Walensky stated.
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