97,000 American children test positive for COVID-19 in 2 weeks

More than 97,000 children were reported to have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within two weeks in the United States (US). This was contained in a joint report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. The report which summarized what was available on 30th July noted that 97,078 new child cases reported from 16th of July to 30th of the same month signify a 40% increase in child cases in the country. For clarification, the report noted that only 8 states of the United States (US) provided an age distribution of testing, which it used. There were variations in the “child” age ranges “by the states (0-14, 0-17, 0-18, 0-19, 0-20, and 0-24 years” in the report for COVID-19 by states reported for children. With confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe. Perhaps nowhere outside the US is America’s bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at over 35,000.

 But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment. “Don’t they care about their health?” a mask-clad Patrizia Antonini asked about people in the United States as she walked with friends along the banks of Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. “They need to take our precautions. … They need a real lockdown.” Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn’t have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units. M ore than four months into a sustained outbreak, the US reached the 5 million mark, according to the running count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Health officials believe the actual number is perhaps 10 times higher, or closer to 50 million, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of all those who are infected have no symptoms. “We Italians always saw America as a model,” said Massimo Franco, a columnist with daily Corriere della Sera. “But with this virus we’ve discovered a country that is very fragile, with bad infrastructure and a public health system that is nonexistent.” With America’s worlds highest death toll of more than 160,000, its politicized resistance to masks and its rising caseload, European nations have barred American tourists and visitors from other countries with growing cases from freely travelling to the bloc.

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