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Doctors, nurses urge Trump to share Covid-19 data with Biden team

UNITED STATES Doctors and nurses in the US, in a letter published on Tuesday, urged the Trump administration to share critical Covid-19 data with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team to avoid delays in tackling the pandemic as infections and hospitalisations skyrocket.

Several medical associations made the plea for cooperation a day after Mr Biden warned that "more people may die" if outgoing President Donald Trump continues to block a smooth transition following his defeat in the Nov 3 presidential election.

Health officials have warned that the winter may usher in a new wave of Covid-19 deaths with community spread rampaging across the country and hospitalisations at record levels.

"Real-time data and information on the supply of therapeutics, testing supplies, personal protective equipment, ventilators, hospital bed capacity and workforce availability to plan for further deployment of the nation's assets needs to be shared to save countless lives," said the letter, signed by the leadership of the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Hospitals Association.

SPIKE IN INFECTIONS

The big spike in infections in the autumn, even in states that kept the virus at bay over the summer, prompted health and government officials to sound the alarm.

Forty-one states have reported record increases in Covid-19 cases in November, while 20 have seen a record rise in deaths and 26 reported record hospitalisations, according to a Reuters tally of public health data. The US crossed 11 million total infections on Sunday, just eight days after reaching the 10 million mark.

Several state governors and city officials have imposed new restrictions on indoor gatherings in recent days in an attempt to stem the spread of the disease. At least 14 states have issued new public health mandates this month.

Several state officials have also urged citizens to exercise caution around the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov 26 and not travel or socialise with extended family for the traditional indoor feast.

"I know this is difficult and frustrating, especially with the holidays right around the corner," Vermont Governor Phil Scott wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, referring to his ban on multi-household gatherings.

"But it's necessary and we need your help to get this back under control." - REUTERS

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