Since April 5, there have been more than 31,000 new cases a day, on average, a 3 per cent increase from two weeks ago, according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Covid tracker.
“Well, obviously, there is concern that we are seeing an uptick in cases. As I’ve mentioned, over the last couple of weeks, that this is not unexpected, that you’re going to see an uptick when you pull back on the mitigation methods,” like “masking in indoor settings”, Fauci said during an ABC News interview.
According to the CDC tracker, on April 8 the number of new Covid cases in the US rose to 41,096, from 27,921 fresh cases on April 1.
The CDC update till April 2 estimated that the BA.2 sub-variant makes up 72.2 per cent of the Covid variants in the US.
The numbers are not surprising given the presence of the highly transmissible BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron and waning immunity, Fauci said.
While there is an “uptick in cases”, Fauci said he believes that the country will not see a “concomitant comparable increase in severity, in the sense of people requiring hospitalisations and deaths”.
But “if we do start seeing an uptick, particularly of hospitalizations, we may need to revert back to being more careful and having more utilisations of masks indoors”.
He further stated that the infection is going to stay and will not be “eradicated”.
Even if people do not end up requiring hospitalisation, Covid infection should not be ignored as it could still result in significant illness and long Covid, Fauci said, adding it is up to Americans to make their own medical risk assessment.
“There will be a level of infection. This is not going to be eradicated and it’s not going to be eliminated. Each individual is going to have to make their calculation of the amount of risk that they want to take in going to indoor dinners and in going to functions.”
The White House chief medical adviser said Americans will have to consider factors such as their age, vaccination status and whether they live with vulnerable individuals when it comes to coronavirus precautions.
He said that there will be some degree of virus in the community and people have to cope with it and the best way is to get vaccinated.
He called for eligible people to get the third and fourth booster shots.
Fauci also stressed on the need to concentrate a lot more on getting new tests, drugs, vaccines.