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Gottlieb says a shorter quarantine period would still cover the “vast majority” of viral cases

Washington – Dr Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the shortened recommended quarantine period under consideration by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should cover the “vast majority” of coronavirus infections.

“What you want are sensible and practical recommendations that people will follow,” Gottlieb said in an interview with Straighten the Nation on Sunday. “And when you have a 14-day quarantine period, it’s such a long period of time that a lot of people won̵

7;t follow it anyway, and it’s hard to follow the recommendations. So introducing a 10-day quarantine period, even a seven-day quarantine period, will catch most of the infections within that time period. “

According to these guidelines, the CDC recommends that people be quarantined for 14 days after their last contact with a person who has COVID-19. But the health agency is considering shortening that time. Admiral Brett Giroar, assistant secretary of health at the Ministry of Health and Humanitarian Services, told reporters Tuesday that there was “a predominance of evidence that a shorter quarantine, supplemented by a test, could shorten that quarantine period.”

The Trump administration, Giroare said, “is actively working on this type of guidance” and reviewing the evidence.

Gottlieb called the CDC’s potential move a “reasonable step” that should be considered earlier. Most people exposed to COVID-19 will be infected within five to seven days, he said, although there is evidence that some will not become infected within 14 days of exposure.

“I think you have to balance the practicality of what you recommend with the ability and willingness of people to comply,” he said.

The possible change in CDC recommendations comes as the nation experiences its latest outbreak of coronavirus infections, and public health experts expect the number of cases to rise after Thanksgiving.

With more than 13.2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University, and growing hospitalizations, governors and mayors have begun imposing restrictions on restaurants and bars in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, while many places require residents to wear masks in public. .

Gottlieb said that in areas of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, where governors had taken “more aggressive steps earlier,” he expected infection rates to remain lower than in other parts of the country. He also noted that in other areas where governors have refused to impose strict restrictions, such as mandates for masks or the closure of bars and restaurants, there is little evidence that their economies have performed better than in more remote areas. strict measures.

“What really keeps consumers at home is the virus,” he said. “Why people don’t go out to eat is that they don’t want to go into restaurants and risk getting infected. It’s not the mandates and government actions that keep people at home. It’s the infection.”

As coronavirus cases continue to rise and top health experts warn that the country is facing a difficult winter, three pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, have reported positive results from subsequent trials of their COVID-19 vaccines. A meeting of the CDC’s Immunization Practices Advisory Committee is scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the distribution of a vaccine against COVID-19 and to make recommendations on who should receive it first.

Gottlieb acknowledged that the country “will not have enough stocks to vaccinate everyone” who could qualify for the vaccine, but predicted that the first tranche would go to health workers and residents of long-term care facilities. But with only 40 million doses available in January, if Pfizer and Moderna receive emergency approvals from the FDA, he said “there probably isn’t enough vaccine to work properly in both groups.”

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