A top US health official revealed on April 22 that two people died from coronavirus three weeks before the country officially reported its first death from the infection. Dr Sara Cody, health director in Northern California’s Santa Clara County, reportedly said that the authorities failed to record the COVID-19 death due to lack of testing and clarity over who should be tested.
Public Health Department of Santa Clara County said in a statement that the Medical Examiner-Coroner received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on April 21 regarding the earliest-known deaths. It said that three people who died in the County in February and early March have been tested positive for COVID-19, making these the earliest-known deaths in the United States.
Today, Dr. Cody addressed the cases, confirming that community transmission of #COVID19 began far earlier than we knew. This sad news of additional, early losses of members of our community reinforces the critical importance of social distancing measures. #ApartTogetherSCC— Healthy SCC (@HealthySCC) April 23, 2020
Dr Cody reportedly said that the United States would have probably acted earlier if they had been widespread testing and ability to document the level of transmission. As per the reports, two patients, a 57-year-old woman and a 69-year-old man, from Santa Clara County died at home on February 6 and February 17 respectively. Surprisingly, none of the victims had travelled out of the country which indicates the early community transmission of the disease that authorities failed to identify.
The United States has reported nearly 850,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus with over 47,600 deaths. According to the latest report, over 2.6 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide with over 184,300 deaths, overwhelming the health care facilities across the globe. The United States, Italy, Spain and France are the worst-hit countries due to the pandemic with around 64 per cent of death toll reported from these four countries alone.
(Image Credit: AP)