Covid-19: Recent surge to increase related deaths, says US researchers

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In the wake of increase in cases, forecast models used by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that the United States death totals is likely to increase over the next four weeks.

The models predicted about 32,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 over in the next two weeks. By implication, come Feb. 12, about 931,000 total lives could be lost in the U.S. to the virus.

The CDC obtains the forecasts from the COVID-19 Forecast Hub at UMass Amherst, where a team monitors and combines forecasting models from the nation’s top researchers.

Meanwhile, more than 5.5 million people have died from the disease globally, including over 854,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 63% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over 27 million visitors have visited US Postal Service website after the Biden administration launched the website for people to place order for free COVID-19 tests last Tuesday.

The initiative allows Americans to order up to four free at-home rapid tests per household.

Also, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced on Wednesday, the end of all COVID-19 measures in England that were imposed to combat the highly contagious omicron variant.

Effective immediately, secondary school students will no longer be required to wear face masks in classrooms. Starting next week, masks will not be compulsory anywhere, including on public transport and in shops.

However, Johnson said his government will continue to advise people to wear masks in indoor or crowded settings.

The work-from-home guidance will also be lifted next week, along with mandatory COVID-19 passes at large venues, though business are allowed to use them if they wish.

People will still be required to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19, but the prime minister said there will “soon be a time” when that won’t be mandated. The measure is due to expire in March, but Johnson said that date could be brought forward.

So-called Plan B restrictions were introduced in England last December amid a surge of COVID-19 cases as omicron quickly spread across the United Kingdom. The country’s daily number of new cases remains high but appears to be dropping over the past week along with hospital admissions, while deaths are increasing.

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