Over 3 million COVID-19 cases in the US, shortage of medical supplies hits hospitals

USA, COVID-19, 3 million
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The United States crossed the three-million mark of coronavirus cases and reported more than 129,000 deaths. As cases continue to rise, frontline healthcare workers struggle hard to keep pace with the spate of patients being brought in for hospitalization.

According to The Washington Post, in states with COVID-hotspots including Florida, Arizona, California and Texas, hospitals are adding new intensive care unit beds and special airflow systems to treat the increasing number of COVID-infected patients. In some cases, hospitals are also cancelling elective surgeries to free up space.

Cases of hospitalization in Texas have been more than doubled in the past two weeks, filling nearly 80 per cent of the state’s hospital beds. About 45 percent of the Texas Medical Center’s 1,364 intensive care unit beds are now occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Also Read: WHO admits airborne COVID spread: How can you stay safe

Meanwhile, juggling COVID-19 patients with those suffering from other ailments have become even more challenging. Sometimes, patients are held in the emergency room for far longer than they would be normally kept. Registered nurses who would normally be monitoring ventilation and assisting in operating rooms are now being called in to assist on COVID-19 floors.

Healthcare workers in hard-hit states told The Washington Post that they are rationing protective gear such as N95 masks so they do not face severe shortage as they faced in the early weeks of the pandemic. Some say they use only one mask per day now, as opposed to throwing them out after each patient.

Thankfully, in states with surging cases, deaths have not spiked as sharply as hospitalizations, a point touted by US President Donald Trump, who incidentally claimed this week that the country had the world’s lowest mortality rate caused due to the virus. He had also said that 99% cases in the US are harmless.

The US data from John Hopkins Covid tracker, reports 31,18,143 confirmed cases with 1,33,291 deaths at the time of filing this report.

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