First Case Of New COVID Variant Found In US

The first reported American case of the highly contagious Covid-19 variant from the UK has been confirmed in the state of Colorado.

The patient, a 20-year-old man with no recent travel history, is currently alone.

State health officials say they are working to find contacts and other potential cases for a new variety.

COVID Cases In America

It came as US President-elect Joe Biden criticised the Trump administration’s distribution of vaccines.

He said the process was being delayed.

The US has recorded more than 19 million infections and more than 337,000 deaths from coronavirus, the highest in the world.

Chart showing US cases and deaths. Updated 29 Dec.
Courtesy: BBC

The new variants are more transferable than the previous ones but do not mean they are more dangerous for those with the disease, experts say.

US health officials said last week that they believed it was already in circulation in the country.

‘Intensive Investigation’

In a statement Tuesday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis said the infected patient was living alone in Elbert County near Denver.

Public health officials have been conducting “intensive investigations”, he said, and no diseases have been detected in close people so far.

Cases of new diversity have been emerging around the world. The first two known diseases on the North American continent appeared in Canada over the weekend.

Two coronavirus drugs – one by Moderna and one by Pfizer – are currently being distributed and administered throughout the US.

Delay In Vaccine Administration Plans

The government aimed to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of December. But so far, only 2.1 million people have found guns, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Presidential-elect Biden said the vaccination campaign was “the biggest operational challenge we have ever faced as a nation”.

“Trump’s administration’s plan to distribute antiretroviral drugs is lagging far behind,” Mr Biden said in a statement on Tuesday. “I will move heaven and earth so that we can move in the right direction.”

Responding to Mr Biden in a tweet, President Donald Trump said it was “up to the states to distribute the vaccines” once they had been delivered by the federal government.

US President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks on the American response to the coronavirus outbreak

“We have not only developed the vaccines, including putting up money to move the process along quickly, but gotten them to the states,” he wrote.

Mr Biden has vowed to vaccinate 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his presidency on January 20.

To achieve that goal, the number of vaccines offered will have to be increased “five to six times the current speed up to one million shots a day,” Mr Biden said.

“Even with this development … it will still take months for the majority of Americans to be vaccinated,” he said.

Mr Biden said he would invoke a Korean War-era law to force private industry to step up vaccine production for the US government.

Meanwhile, Mr Biden warned of a “critical time for our nation” when “things will get worse before they get better”.

“Turning this around is going to take time,” Mr Biden said. “We might not see improvement until we’re well into March.”


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