Washington D.C. [USA], Feb 26 (ANI): Federal health officials on Tuesday (local time) warned that the new coronavirus that has claimed thousands of lives will certainly spread in the United States.
"It is not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen," said Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunisation and Respiratory Diseases, reported The New York Times.
Dr Messonnier, in a news briefing, said that the cities and towns should plan for "social distancing measures" like dividing school classes into smaller groups of students or closing schools altogether.
Adding that meetings and conferences may have to be cancelled, the official said that the businesses should arrange for employees to work from home.
"We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare, in the expectation that this could be bad," she said adding that the data over the last week, and the spread in other countries, has certainly raised the level of concern.
As of Tuesday, the US has just 57 cases, 40 of them connected to the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship overwhelmed by the coronavirus after it docked in Japan. Those patients are in isolation in hospitals and there are no signs of sustained transmission in American communities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had also warned Americans not to travel to South Korea as it had reported a total of 893 coronavirus cases by Tuesday.
Coronavirus has infected more than 80,000 people in 37 countries, causing more than 2,600 deaths in the past few months. (ANI)