Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a hearing of Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in Washington, DC, the United States, on July 20, 2021. (Photo/Xinhua)
It is too early to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has come to an end, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said recently.
The world is still in the first phase of the pandemic, the "truly pandemic" phase, "where the whole world is really very negatively impacted," Fauci, who made the remarks in a remote panel at the World Economic Forum on Monday, was quoted as saying by The New York Times.
According to the news report published Monday, Fauci admitted in the panel that the sheer volume of Omicron-related infections "could have a meaningful effect on collective immunity."
Still, "it is an open question as to whether or not Omicron is going to be the live virus vaccination that everyone is hoping for, because you have such a great deal of variability with new variants emerging," Fauci noted.
Latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the United States registered 874,087 new cases and 2,596 more deaths on Friday, bringing the total tally and death toll nationwide to more than 65 million and 847,577 respectively.
"While cases seem to be leveling off in New York and other parts of the Northeast, they remain extremely high across the United States, averaging nearly 802,000 per day, an increase of 98 percent over the past two weeks," said the report.