COVID-19 2nd wave in US not inevitable: Fauci

 A second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US “could happen” but it was “not inevitable”, America’s top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said.

The US can prevent another wave of COVID-19 as long as states reopen “correctly”, Xinhua news agency quoted Fauci as saying in a CNN interview on Wednesday.

“Don’t start leapfrogging over the recommendations of some of the guidelines because that’s really tempting fate and asking for trouble.”

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has previously warned that Americans need to prepare for the possibility of a second wave of the coronavirus in the fall, which would run alongside the flu season.

Stay-at-home orders intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus could end up causing “irreparable damage” if imposed for too long, Fauci said last week.

“I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go.”

Fauci’s remarks came as the US hit a grim milestone of over 100,000 COVID-19 deaths.

As of Thursday morning, the number of coronavirus deaths in the country stood at 100,418, while the overall cases surged to 1,699,126, both tallies account for the highest in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

New York, the epicentre of the pandemic in the US, reported 364,965 cases and 29,370 deaths.

New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois each reported over 5,000 deaths.