There are around 200 cases and 14 deaths, mostly in Washington state: the government had promised it would do a million tests later this week, but it looks like it won’t.
In the United States the number of people infected with coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has reached 233 – but it could increase a lot in the next few days when the number of tests carried out will increase – and the deaths are 14: the infections occurred in 17 states of the country, but the vast majority are in Washington state, on the west coast, where 13 people died in all. Nine of them were in a nursing home for the elderly in the suburbs of Seattle, where another dozen infections were also recorded.
In all, 75 cases of infection were reported in Washington state, more than 40 compared to the previous day. As a precaution, the closure of all schools was imposed in a school district on the northern outskirts of Seattle , forcing about 23,000 students to stay home for two weeks while trying to contain the coronavirus epidemic in the area. The spread of the virus has also forced many large tech companies based in Washington to implement some changes: Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook, for example, have invited their employees to work from home until the end of March, to avoid the risk of infection.
The second most affected by the coronavirus is California, where 60 cases of infection and one death were recorded: a 71-year-old man who tested positive after traveling on a cruise ship last month in Mexico . The man had been hospitalized on February 27, a few days after returning from the trip. Meanwhile the ship had left for Hawaii with 3,500 people on board, but in the meantime some other passengers had felt bad: the ship was supposed to dock in San Francisco on Wednesday night, but the California authorities denied her the landing and ‘have forced to remain in international waters until further tests are carried out on people on board.
The third most involved state is that of New York, with 22 cases, twice that of Wednesday. In New York City, in particular, there are two people in compulsory quarantine in their homes and two others hospitalized. According to what revealed by the city health department, there are also about 2,700 people in voluntary home isolation: they are largely people who have returned from travel to countries where many cases of infection have been recorded in recent weeks, including China, Italy , Iran, South Korea and Japan.
At the moment it is unclear how many tests have been carried out across the country to ascertain cases of infection: until last Monday the site of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) published the numbers daily, but from that day on data has been eliminated, limiting the information published to that relating to contagion cases. In recent days, Vice President Mike Pence, who coordinates the US government’s response to the coronavirus emergency, had said that by the end of this week enough kits would be distributed in various hospitals to carry out at least one million tests.
However, on Thursday, Alex Azar, the Trump administration’s health secretary, said that this week they will be able to test a maximum of 475 thousand people, and Pence himself, during a visit to a factory of a company that produces, among other things, material health care, said that at the moment there are not enough tests available “to deal with what we expect will be the future request”, specifying that for now there are enough tests only “for those who have had contact [with infected people] and for those who show symptoms ».
Also on Thursday, President Donald Trump spokethe consequences that the coronavirus epidemic could have on the country’s economy, during a rally held in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and moderated by Fox News. Trump, who only a week ago tried to minimize the effects of the epidemic by saying that the US stock market would recover after the losses of the past few days, has now said that the virus “will certainly have an impact” on the country’s economy, but adding that he has plans “for every single possibility” and hopes that the emergency will not last too long. Trump then called on all U.S. citizens to remain calm and said that despite the possible negative consequences of the virus, “now people will stay in the United States and spend their money here, and I like this.”