Coronavirus: US travel ban ‘likely measured in months rather than weeks,’ says Fauci

American Airlines passenger planes crowd a runway where they are parked due to flight reductions at Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (File photo: Reuters)

The rollback of US coronavirus restrictions keeping people from traveling to and throughout the country are unlikely to eased anytime soon, the top member of White House Coronavirus Task Force said, UK newspaper The Telegraph reported.

The announcement follows the news that the number of coronavirus cases in the US exceeded two million, with 115,732 deaths as of Tuesday. The increase in infections has prompted some parts of the country to reconsider lockdown easing timelines in a bid to continue to control the spread of the virus.

“It's going to be really wait and see. I don't think there's going to be an immediate pull back for those kinds of restrictions. My feeling, looking at what's going on with the infection rate, I think it's more likely measured in months rather than weeks,” Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the Task Force said in an interview with The Telegraph on Sunday.

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While the US has managed to broadly suppress the virus in its major outbreak centers, such as New York or Chicago, problems have begun to arise in other states, Fauci explained.

“We're seeing several states, as they try to reopen and get back to normal, starting to see early indications [that] infections are higher than previously,” he told The Telegraph.

“The question is will they have the capability to do the appropriate and effective isolation, and contact tracing, to prevent this increase from becoming a full blown outbreak? I'm concerned it's happening. I hope the individual states can blunt that. It [the virus] could go on for a couple of cycles, coming back and forth. I would hope to get to some degree of real normality within a year or so. But I don't think it's this winter or fall, we'll be seeing it for a bit more.”

The US is currently experiencing the worst outbreak of coronavirus in the world, with nearly 2.1 million infections and 115,732 deaths reported as of Monday.

Officials have continued to impose travel restrictions as the outbreak has spread, with the US already banning travelers from the UK, Europe, China and Brazil.

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Last Update: Monday, 15 June 2020 KSA 17:11 - GMT 14:11
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