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Top US health official wants ‘everything on the table’ to contain virus

WASHINGTON: A top US health official said on Sunday that with deaths from COVID-19 expected to continue rising in coming weeks, “everything should be on the table,” including renewed lockdowns in hard-hit states.
“We’re all very concerned,” said Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of health, on ABC’s “This Week.” In particular, he called for the re-closing of bars, greater spacing in restaurants and the near-universal wearing of masks in the areas most afflicted, which are largely in southern states that reopened aggressively.
“For this to work we have to have 90 percent of people wearing masks in public in the hot-spot areas,” he said. “If we don’t have that we won’t get control of the virus. “It’s absolutely essential.”
Giroir stressed that progress is being made against the coronavirus pandemic, with more testing and new treatments available. Asked about reported waits for testing of as long as 13 hours, in hard-hit Arizona, Giroir insisted that things were rapidly getting better.
“You’ll see a lot more improvements in testing ... over the next week or so,” he said. (AFP)