The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci made it clear that the end of the current pandemic is still a long way off. The expert said that there is “essentially no end in sight” to the coronavirus pandemic as the number of new cases continues to rise across the country.
The ominous scenario was announced during a keynote address for the Philadelphia-based American Association for Cancer Research’s (AACR) virtual meeting on cancer and the novel coronavirus.
“Here we are in mid-July with close to 14 million cases globally and 580-plus-thousand deaths so far with essentially no end in sight,” Fauci said,according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Fauci underlined that COVID-19 and other coronavirus infections are “more than just the common cold,” MedPage Today reported, and compared the rise of COVID-19 with the trajectory of two other coronavirus-caused pandemics: The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pandemic of 2002 and the Middle East respiratory virus (MERS) pandemic of 2012.
Like the viruses that caused SARS and MERS, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, likely emerged from an animal host.Since COVID-19 was first observed in December 2019, over 13 million cases have been confirmed, over half a million people have died, and there is “essentially no end in sight,” Fauci summarized.
As of Tuesday morning, more than 14.7 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide and more than 610,000 people have died of the viral infection, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has been the hardest hit by the virus, with more than 3.8 million cases and nearly 141,000 deaths.
For now, preventive measures such as washing hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing are important to slow the spread of COVID-19. “The bottom-line common denominator is physical distancing,” stressed Fauci, adding that this can be accomplished through stay-at-home orders, school and business closures, bans on public gatherings, aggressive case identification and isolation, and contact tracing and quarantine.