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COVID-19: US hospitals at ‘breaking point’

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A nurse administering a COVID-19 dose at a Los Angeles vaccination centre.
A nurse administering a COVID-19 dose at a Los Angeles vaccination centre.

US: The United States is currently seeing a rebound in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, reported the Bloomberg news agency, adding that the surge is driven by the fast-spreading Delta variant, which has taken a toll on the country’s already-stressed healthcare system despite the relatively widespread availability of vaccines.

The COVID-19 rebound seen in several parts of the country is just as bad as last November’s, according to data compiled by the agency from the US department of health and human services.

Patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 are taking up more ICU beds than a year earlier in as many as 15 states – with Colorado, Minnesota, and Michigan showing the highest hospitalisation (under intensive care) rates so far, 41 per cent, 37 per cent, and 34 per cent, respectively.

Michigan, which currently has the highest per-capita case rate in the US, has however not issued any new restrictions on public gatherings, instead encouraging more citizens to mask up and get vaccinated.

“Many of our physicians are at a breaking point,” Ali Mokdad, a Professor with the University of Washington’s institute for health metrics and evaluation, was quoted as saying. “It’s not easy to be a day in and day out in an emergency room, in an ICU, looking at someone who is dying because he or she is not vaccinated.”

After about two months of declining infections, the US has been reporting daily increases for the past two weeks, driven by the more easily transmitted Delta variant of the virus and people spending more time indoors due to colder weather.

According to experts, protection instilled by vaccines is waning, and the country could face yet another major wave of the pandemic this winter.


Thursday, November 25, 2021 – 01:00

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