US warns of new COVID-19 surge

·1-min read

US officials have pleaded with people to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amid an increase in cases across the country.

President Joe Biden was set to announce on Monday that 90 per cent of adults in the United States will be eligible to get a vaccine by April 19, a White House official said.

Meanwhile, Dr Rochelle Walensky, head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with emotion in her voice, urged public officials and others to spread the word about the seriousness of the situation in an effort to prevent a fourth COVID-19 surge.

The United States surpassed 30 million total cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and the seven-day average of new cases was slightly less than 60,000 per day, she said.

That represents a 10 per cent increase compared with the prior seven-day period.

Hospitalisations also increased and deaths have started to rise.

"I'm going to lose the script and I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom," Walensky told a briefing with reporters.

"Right now I'm scared."

Officials cited states opening up their economies and loosening pandemic restrictions prematurely, along with an increase in travel, as reasons for the uptick.

Walensky said the trajectory of the pandemic in the US looked similar to countries in Europe such as Germany, Italy and France which have experienced a recent spike in cases.

"We do not have the luxury of inaction. For... the health of our country, we must work together now to prevent a fourth surge," she said.