Tuesday, January 26, 2021

World

Crowd storming Capitol to have public health consequences'

IANS | January 09, 2021 06:45 PM

WASHINGTON: A US health official said that the violent storming of the Capitol by a largely mask-less crowd earlier this week in the midst of the raging Covid-19 pandemic will have "public health consequences".

"I do think you have to anticipate that this is another surge event. You had largely unmasked individuals in a non-distanced fashion, who were all through the Capitol, " Xinhua news agency quoted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield as saying to the McClatchy news organisation in an interview on Friday.

Thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump overwhelmed police and breached the Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic and violent situation that left five people dead and dozens of others injured.

Redfield said "these individuals all are going in cars and trains and planes going home all across the country right now".

"So I do think this is an event that will probably lead to a significant spreading event.

"This is an event that is going to have public health consequences, " he added.

The US, currently the hardest hit country in the world, is still witnessing un unabated increase in the number of new Covid-19 cases, deaths, as well as hospitalisations.

As of Saturday, the US has so recorded 21, 857, 293 coronavirus cases and 368, 736 deaths, according to the latest figures by the Johns Hopkins University.

"We haven't hit the peak of the current surge, " Redfield told McClatchy.

"We're going to continue to see mortality in the 2, 500-5, 000 a day range... This is going to continue to get worse through January, and probably parts of February before we really start to turn the corner."

President-elect Joe Biden said on Friday that the US remains "in this dark winter of the pandemic", while lashing out at the Trump administration's vaccine rollout.

"The vaccines give us hope, but their rollout has been a travesty, " he said.

Acting US Secretary of Defence Christopher Miller also said on Friday that 1 million vaccines were distributed across the country on that day, bringing the total number of doses distributed to 22 million.

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