14:44 GMT15 January 2021
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    The United States continues to top the list of nations that are most ravaged in the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, with over 13 million COVID-19 cases and more than 270,000 deaths as of Wednesday.

    The projected US president-elect, Joe Biden, on Wednesday urged Americans not to travel during the Christmas holidays, warning of a likely uptick in coronavirus-related deaths in the US in the upcoming months.

    "You cannot be travelling during these holidays", Biden asserted during a virtual roundtable on COVID-19. "I don't want to scare anybody here, but understand the facts: we're likely to lose another 250,000 people– dead, between now and January."

    He noted that people "aren't paying attention", expressing regret that he would not be seeing his "large family" for Christmas.

    ​His remarks come as the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Robert Redfield, also warned of a "tough" winter earlier on Wednesday.

    “The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they're going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation largely because of the stress that it's going to put on our healthcare system. So we're in that range, potentially, now starting to see 1500 to 2000 to 2500 deaths a day from this virus... And I do think, unfortunately, before we see February, we could be close to 450,000 Americans who have died from this virus", Redfield said on Wednesday, noting that the threat would be minimized if people paid more attention to coronavirus-related restrictions, including the use of face masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing.

    Such warnings arrive as the number of coronavirus patients who currently remain in hospitals in the US exceeds 100,000 for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the COVID Tracking Project. 

    The United States remains on top of the list of nations worst-hit by the pandemic, with over 13 million COVID cases registered and more than 273,000 people dead as of Wednesday, according to data collated by the Johns Hopkins University.

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    Christmas, coronavirus, COVID-19, US
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