US official: Lockdown unlikely despite virus surge

A senior US official has indicated that the coronavirus situation is likely to be kept under control during the holiday season without a nationwide lockdown.

Infections are on the rise again in the United States ahead of Thanksgiving holidays later this month followed by Christmas and the New Year holiday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Monday, the average new daily number of cases exceeded 92,000, up by 18 percent from a week earlier.

Some European countries have re-imposed lockdowns to curb rising infection numbers.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters on Monday that the US virus situation is now under control.
He added that infections can be contained without restricting economic activities, thanks to booster jabs and other measures.

The US government is urging people to get vaccinated, have booster shots and arrange to have children inoculated before the holidays in order to prevent a possible spread of infections through traveling, socializing and other activities.

Data compiled by the US Transport Security Administration show that over 6.45 million people traveled by air from last Friday through Sunday. That's about 90 percent of the figure in the same period in 2019, before the pandemic began.

The federal government and health authorities are bracing for a resurgence, as the number of travelers during the holiday season is expected to return to near pre-pandemic levels.