Rising Covid-19 positivity rates in US may require restrictions in large-population states
Covid-19 test positivity is increasing rapidly and may necessitate that most large-population states impose more severe restrictions, a top-ranked US economist said.
According to Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, hospitalisations could otherwise hit a level twice as high as the one reached after the first and second waves of the novel coronavirus by the middle of December and even triple by the turn of the year.
On Thursday, the number of Covid-19 infections in the US hit 153,000, marking a new daily high, and were up by 22% versus the prior week.
That marked a small improvement week-on-week, but the data were noisy, he said.
"Rising testing is finding more cases but that's a distraction; the real issue is that the test positivity rate is now trending above 10% and is increasing rapidly," Shepherdson added.
"Hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths are not affected by shifts in testing, and they are all soaring.
"[...] The hospital system cannot cope with the number of patients who will require treatment over the next two months, if current trends in cases persist."
The situation in Europe meanwhile was a bit better, with new cases across Western Europe starting to fall overall, following the most recent restrictions, with Belgium registering the biggest improvement and new cases having begun to fall in France.