US authorities on Thursday urged Americans not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday as virus cases soared in the worst-hit nation.
America was hit by a spike of over 200,000 new infections and 2,239 fatalities – the worst death toll since May – over the past 24 hours, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.
A powerful weapon against the virus could be coming soon though, as BioNTech and Pfizer planned to apply on Friday for emergency use authorisation of their vaccine in the US.
The recent surge in US cases has sufficiently alarmed authorities that they asked Americans to stay home for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday, which normally sees millions travel to gather with their families for meals – ideal conditions for virus spread.
“It’s not a requirement. It’s a strong recommendation,” Henry Walke, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doctor, told reporters.
Thanksgiving is the busiest US holiday in terms of travel, as it falls on a Thursday and many Americans take the Friday off work and make a long weekend of it.