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19 Jan 2021 | 14:41

US Covid-19 infections drop sharply

(Sharecast News) - The number of new novel coronavirus infections in the US dropped sharply at the start of the week. Nevertheless, analysts were guarded in their optimism, given the risks posed by the appearance of new virus strains, including the one first detected in the UK and another found in Denmark, both of which were now present in the States.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there were 138,000 new cases of Covid-19 infections on 18 January, which marked a 35% drop from the same day one week before.

It was also the lowest count for any Monday since 9 November, while the seven-day moving average of infections had dropped 17% from its 8 January peak, falling below their pre-holiday level, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics said.

The drop was sharper than Shepherdson had been expecting, with the analyst adding that it came despite increased testing.

Even so, the new more infectious virus strains meant that its rate of production was set to rise, requiring stricter lockdown measures to ensure infections continued falling - until widespread vaccinations turned the tide.

At last count, the seven-day moving average of daily inoculations was just under 800,000 but rising steadily.

"To achieve herd immunity by spring, that needs to rise to more than 2M per day; that pace will be reached by mid-February if the recent rate of increase continues."
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