Coronavirus cases touch 3 million in US, Florida likely to face shortage of intensive care beds
HOUSTON (US) – With more US states reporting record figures of coronavirus infections, the tally of confirmed cases touched 3 million on Tuesday. Florida is likely to face a shortage of intensive care beds.
Over the past two weeks, authorities have been reporting daily surges in two dozen states, indicating that efforts to stall the spread of the virus have failed in many parts of the country.
The sates of California, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas broke their earlier daily record highs for new cases on Tuesday. The biggest spurts were witnessed in Texas and California, with more than 10,000 cases each. As many as 24 states have recorded alarmingly high infection rates following tests conducted over the past week.
In just over two weeks, the number of hospitalised patients doubled in Texas.
The US Department of Health and Human Services said on Tuesday it was setting up “surge” testing sites in three areas of Florida, Louisiana and Texas.
In Florida, the intensive care units of as many as four dozen hospitals in 25 out of 67 counties are full, said the Agency for Health Care Administration. Only 17% of the total 6,010 adult ICU beds in the state were free on Tuesday, down from 20% three days earlier.
The hospitalisations could strain the healthcare systems in many areas. On Tuesday, 923 fatalities were reported, the biggest single-day toll since June 10.
According to the mortality model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the deaths in the country would reach 208,000 by Nov. 1 as the surge of the virus gains momentum in the fall.
“The US didn’t experience a true end of the first wave of the pandemic,” the IHME’s director, Dr Christopher Murray, said. “This will not spare us from a second surge in the fall, which will hit particularly hard in states currently seeing high levels of infections.”
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field