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US entering ‘new COVID-19 phase – Experts

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A TOP White House official, Deborah Birx has hinted that America is entering a “new phase” in its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic as new infections continue to rise across the country.

  According to the President Donald Trump’s coronavirus coordinator, Birx, the virus has become “extraordinarily widespread”. He added that those in rural areas “are not immuned.”

  Birx, who served as Barack Obama’s global Aids coordinator in the previous administration, urged Americans to wear face coverings to help stop transmission of the disease.

  “What we are seeing today is different from March and April,” Birx told the media yesterday.

  He added that it has gone into the rural as well as urban areas.

  “To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immuned or protected from this virus. This epidemic right now is different and it is more widespread.”

  Birx’s comments came as the US edged towards 5 million infections, the highest reported by any country in the world by a considerable distance.

  As at today, US officials had recorded 154,860 deaths while just over 2.3 million have recovered after contracting the respiratory disease, according to Johns Hopkins figures.

  Brazil has the world’s second-highest number of infections at 2.7 million.  Health authorities have recorded 94,104 deaths in the South American country.

  The pandemic has been surging in the US in the summer months. Several states in the south and west of the US, including Florida, Texas and California have experienced a spike in new infections.

  California, the country’s most populous state, overtook New York in July as the area worst hit by the pandemic. The state has reported 493,140 infections since the pandemic first took hold.

  Meanwhile, Texas logged 9,539 new cases on  August 1, alone, with clusters of infections recorded in rural areas as well as in major cities such as Dallas, Houston and El Paso.

  Birx warned that tourists travelling to holiday hot spots in the US could be accelerating the spread of the disease.

  “As I travelled around the country, I saw all of America moving,” she said. “If you have chosen to go on vacation into a hot spot, you really need to come back and protect those with co-morbidities and assume you’re infected.”

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