Two officials in the administration of US President Joe Biden said Friday that the United States will maintain a public health emergency for the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing millions of Americans to receive free tests, vaccines and treatments until at least April next year.
One of the officials said the possibility of an increase in coronavirus infections in the winter and the need for more time before transitioning from the public health emergency were the factors that contributed to the decision not to end the state of emergency in January.
The public health emergency was initially declared in January 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been renewed every three months since then. But in August the government began indicating that it plans to allow it to expire in January.
The US Department of Health and Human Services has promised to give states 60 days’ notice before allowing the emergency to expire, which would have expired Friday if they had not planned to renew it again in January. The second official said the ministry had not provided such a notification.
One official said that health experts believe that an increase in COVID-19 infections in the United States is likely this winter.
“We may see an increase in mid-January… This is not the moment when we want to end the public health emergency,” he added.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that daily infections with the Corona virus decreased to more than 41,284 on average as of November 9, but 335 people die daily because of it.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said in an analysis on October 21 that daily infections in the United States are expected to rise slowly to nearly 70,000 by February, and deaths are expected at about the same level.