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Covid-19 cases will threaten critical infrastructure, scientist says

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said the United States was in “disarray” due to the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.

“The best way to approach it is to say what we know and what we don’t,” Osterholm told CNN Wednesday.

It is clear that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is highly infectious, but it is unclear how many people will become seriously ill and die, he said. Rather, the country belongs to an “unknown territory”.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts more than 44,000 new Covid-19 deaths over the next four weeks.

“If you look at those CDC data,” says Osterholm, “if you look at the confidence intervals, you can drive a huge amount of information through that. Is there a big gap in terms of, what will the real numbers look like over the course of the next month? We do not know. ”

Because scientists are still working with limited information, public health leaders have had to make their best guesses about what will work to keep people safe. Osterholm thinks the CDC is being criticized too harshly for its decision to change its guidance to allow some people to leave quarantine or quarantine after a shorter period of time.

“Everything we are going to do right now is not perfect. Just accept that for now,” said Osterholm.

“We don’t know a lot of things that we wish we would, but what we do know and what’s emerging here is that this country is going to be tough in the next few weeks with so many cases and so many cases. locations, where we will see critical infrastructure as well as healthcare challenged,” added Osterholm.

Osterholm predicts that with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, there may not be enough people healthy enough to keep hospitals, grocery stores and gas stations running. “The change in CDC guidelines is not just about helping the economy, it’s about keeping our everyday lives safe,” he said.

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