Doctor John Jones, D.O. Tests administrative assistant Morgan Bassin for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at One Medical in Scottsdale, Arizona, June 17, 2020.
Courtney Pedroza | Reuters
The United States needs a unified approach to tackling the increasing number of coronavirus infections, and people shouldn't get the false sense of security that a vaccine is just around the corner, infectious disease experts said on Monday.
The United States recently reported a record increase in cases, with peaks in countries in the process of reopening. On the July 4 holiday weekend, Florida and Texas were exposed to a variety of cases, making it difficult for state and local governments to gain the upper hand over containment efforts.
However, the growing number of cases has prompted many states to change their recovery plans, delay reopening, and reintroduce restrictions on businesses.
"What we're sure to see is that this virus spreads across the states like wildfire," said Joshua Barocas, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University and doctor of infectious diseases at the Boston Medical Center.
He explained that states must impose stricter restrictions on indoor assemblies. He said the surge in places like Florida and Texas should serve as a warning to other states like New Jersey or Massachusetts, where the spread of the infection appears to have slowed down for the time being.
"What we actually need is a comprehensive, unified approach," he said in CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Monday. "We need people at all levels of government and society to support a strategy – and we need that strategy as a prevention strategy at this stage, while waiting for effective vaccines and treatments."
He made it clear that this does not mean that it will be completely closed or that people can never leave their homes.
"It simply means avoiding item sharing, physically distancing yourself when you are in public, wearing a mask – these are fairly simple, fairly simple things that actually prevent more waves and more economic turmoil from around to be very open, "said Barocas.
The United States has the highest number of reported cases and deaths worldwide – more than 2.8 million people have been infected and nearly 130,000 people have died from Covid-19.
The vaccine will take some time
Several vaccines against the disease are being tested, many of which are undergoing clinical trials, which means that they will be tested on volunteers.
Barocas said that it takes time and many steps to develop a vaccine and that "we are not necessarily very close to a" miracle cure "treatment, either." That makes it more important for people to "play in the same team" by doing their part in washing hands, social distancing and wearing masks, he added.
We're going to be struggling with this virus for a long time without a vaccine, and I don't want people to get a false sense of security that a vaccine is just around the corner, although we're making great strides toward a vaccine.
Senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security
Even if a vaccine is developed quickly, Amesh Adalja is unlikely to have enough of it to "dent" the virus by the end of the year or early 2021.
Adalja, an infectious disease expert, is a senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security.
"I think we may have some batches of vaccines at this point, but we will not have enough to vaccinate the US or the world population," he said on CNBC's "Street Signs Asia".
"We will fight this virus for a long time without a vaccine and I do not want people to get a false sense of security that a vaccine is just around the corner, although we are making great strides towards a vaccine," added Adalja .
He also explained that breaking the transmission chain in places like Florida, Texas and Arizona, where the outbreaks have increased, is crucial to prevent hospitals from being flooded with patients.
According to Hopkins, more than 11.4 million people worldwide are infected and over half a million people have died.