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Public health expert warns virus not going away

A health worker collects sample for new coronavirus testing from a women at the newly locked down area at old town of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, Sunday, May 10, 2020. Many business sectors reopened earlier this week in some parts of Malaysia since a partial virus lockdown began March 18. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
A health worker collects sample for new coronavirus testing from a women at the newly locked down area at old town of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, Sunday, May 10, 2020. Many business sectors reopened earlier this week in some parts of Malaysia since a partial virus lockdown began March 18. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— Public health expert warns coronavirus still has a long run.

— Head of Egypt’s Doctors’ Union calls for a full lockdown.

— Mnuchin says U.S. jobless numbers probably going to get worse.

Washington (AP) — A public health expert says the new coronavirus still “has a long way to run” despite President Donald Trump’s claim last week that it will go away without a vaccine.

Dr. Tom Inglesby says it’s likely that only a small portion of the country has been infected, “so most of us are still susceptible to this virus.” Inglesby is the director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

He says the nation does not have sufficient testing or tracing the contacts of people who do test positive for what he described as a “really nasty virus.” Inglesby says the danger is that as businesses reopen and Americans start to resume normal activities “with increased social interaction, we will again see increased transmission and rising number of cases.”

Reacting to Trump’s assertion that the virus simply will disappear, Inglesby says, “No, this virus isn’t going to go away. Hopefully, over time, we’ll learn to live with it and we’ll be able to reduce the risk of transmission. But it’s going to stay as a background problem in the country and around the world until we have a vaccine.”

Inglesby made the comments on Fox News Sunday.

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CAIRO — The head of Egypt’s Doctors’ Union has called for a full lockdown across the country to help fight the new coronavirus pandemic. It comes amid a spike in infections in the Arab World’s most populous country.

Dr. Hussein Khairy told local media Sunday that he sent a letter to Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly last week urging for the proposed lockdown to last for two weeks or until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

He argued that the lockdown would deal a “swift and massive blow” to the virus and “flatten” the curve of infections.

Egypt has halted international air travel and shuttered schools, universities, mosques, churches and archaeological sites, including the famed Giza pyramids. A curfew is in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The partial lockdown is to continue until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The country of 100 million people has experienced a surge in infections in the past couple of days, with the daily reported new cases around 500.

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WASHINGTON — Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the jobless numbers in the United States “are probably going to get worse before they get better,” but the bigger risk to the country is keeping businesses' closed rather than states allowing some to reopen.

Mnuchin spoke as most states begin to loosen their restrictions on businesses after extended shutdowns designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. He says that if re-openings are not allowed it would have permanent economic damage to the American public.

Another 3.2 million U.S. workers applied for jobless benefits last week, bringing the total over the last seven weeks to 33.5 million.

Mnuchin says that increased testing and the prospect of better treatments will give businesses and workers the confidence to reopen in a careful way. He says, ”you are going to have a very, very bad second quarter. And then I think you’re going to see a bounce-back from a low standpoint.”

Mnuchin spoke on Fox News Sunday.