Money runs out, some parts of the US are seeing a resurgence

Officials stated Wednesday that Covid is making a resurgence in portions of the northeastern United States as the BA.2 coronavirus variety takes hold across the country, pressing Congress to provide fresh funds or endanger the supply of future treatments and vaccines.

The country is currently registering an average of 28,600 cases per day, significantly below the previous high of almost 800,000 cases per day in January.

Covid-19 is killing roughly 900 people every day, with a total of one million people anticipated to die in the next month. However, Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warned reporters that there were early indicators of a new wave.

She said, “We have seen a small increase in reported Covid-19 cases in New York state and New York City and some increases in people in hospital with COVID-19 in New England, specifically where the BA.2 variant has been reaching levels above 50 percent (prevalence).”

She noted that wastewater surveillance, which is used as an early warning system for rising cases, revealed a little increase in the virus in various areas around the country. The BA.2 variant does not appear to induce more severe disease or to be more prone to resist immune protection than the original Omicron, BA.1, but it is more transmissible.

BA.2 presently accounts for 35% of all cases in the United States, and it is anticipated to overtake BA.1 in the near future. The projected bounce comes after Congress refused to add $22.5 billion in Covid funds to a recently enacted spending plan.

Health secretary Xavier Becerra said, “At this stage, our resources are depleted.”

“The fund Congress established to reimburse doctors and other medical providers for Covid care for Americans, in particular the uninsured, is no longer accepting new claims for testing or treatment services as of yesterday.”

There is projected to be no money for new claims for immunisation services on or around April 5, he noted. The number of monoclonal antibody treatments available to states has been reduced by 35%, and supplies are projected to run out by May.

In terms of vaccines, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said there was adequate supplies to deliver fourth doses to the immune impaired and, if approved in the coming weeks, to seniors.

He added, “However, if the science shows that fourth doses are needed for the general population later this year, we will not have the supply necessary to ensure shots are available, free and easy to access for all Americans.”

That would apply to any new variant-specific vaccinations that could be required, according to Zients, and went against to the approach of wisely procuring fresh supply, which several other countries have begun to do, including Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hong Kong.

He said, “Further congressional inaction will set us back, leave us less prepared, and cost more lives.”

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