Well-known American physician and former director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr Tom Frieden laid out "10 plain truths" about the Coronavirus pandemic, which killed over 70,000 people in the US.
He made this revelation while talking about the COVID-19 scenario during the House Appropriations Committee hearing. Frieden, 59, who now serves as president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives said that during his whole career in global public health, "I've never seen anything like this."
While explaining his concerns over the Coronavirus pandemic, the author of "Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States 2013"- Frieden said "It's scary. It's unprecedented." Here are those 10 truths mentioned by the American infectious disease expert.
The situation in New York
Frieden said during the hearing that "Even now with deaths decreasing substantially, there are twice as many deaths from Covid-19 in New York City as there are on a usual day from all other causes combined."
It should be noted that as per the data, New York has the most confirmed coronavirus cases of any state in the US, with over 321,000 total infection cases and more than 25,200 deaths. Only in New York City, the Coronavirus cases have crossed 170,000 marks with more than 13,000 confirmed deaths.
The starting stage of the Coronavirus pandemic
Considering the current situation Frieden said that we are still in the beginning stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here it should be mentioned that in a new report co-authored by experts John Barry and Marc Lipsitch claimed that the pandemic could last up to two more years and we will see the worst phase of this global health crisis.
Data can help us
As per Frieden, data being used to monitor trends can help stop outbreaks from turning into epidemics. Earlier a Stanford University epidemiologist claimed COVID-19 infection is more common than previously thought and the risk of dying for the average person is lower.
Containing the virus spread
Not only in the US but in other hard-hit countries like Italy and Spain, stricter lockdown measures helped to slow down the spread of the virus. But with the states across the US, which are planning to open the economy soon, will be at the risk of new infections and that is why Frieden said that we need to box in the COVID-19 once the curve begins to flatten.
Finding a balance
As per the former CDC director, it is high time to find a balance between stable economy and security of public health. A model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington suggested that 134,000 Americans could die by August, involving the impact of the state openings.
Protect the frontline staffs
It is a fact that doctors, hospital employees and other healthcare members are at the most risk of contracting Coronavirus. As per CDC's report, over 9,000 healthcare workers have been affected by the COVID-19. Frieden said that the country needs to protect the "health care workers and other essential staff, or the frontline heroes" of the Coronavirus crisis.
Protection of vulnerable people
Frieden also urged to protect the most vulnerable people in the society who are mostly older generation and those with underlying health conditions as well as a weak immune system.
Coordination between Government and private companies
Frieden said private firms and government must collaborate to make "massive continued investments in testing and distributing a vaccine as soon as possible," to defeat the Coronavirus from infecting and killing more people.
Should not neglect non-COVID health issues
There are many patients with other illnesses, waiting for their treatment to get over which may have got postponed or cancelled after the Coronavirus pandemic overflooded the hospitals with COVID-19 patients. Many people also feel unsafe to visit hospitals to check up as they fear of getting infected by the virus. The American physician Frieden said that along with the Coronavirus patients we must not neglect non-COVID health issues.
Preparation is the key
"It is inevitable that there will be future outbreaks. It's not inevitable that we will continue to be so underprepared," said Frieden.