A resurgent wave of coronavirus has the United States in its grip as COVID-19 caseloads have seen a steady uptick, especially in the southern states.
According to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average number of new Covid-19 cases in the USA has risen to 110,000 per day, about 25,000 more than a week ago. It’s the highest average since early February. The US on August 13, 2021, reported a staggering 1,86,840 COVID-19 cases, taking the 7-day case average to 1,28,537.
The latest coronavirus surge is driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, which has already ravaged India, Australia and many other countries. CDC officials claim 93 per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States are due to the Delta variant.
Overall, 36 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States since the start of the pandemic last year. Deaths related to COVID-19 in the United States have now surpassed 617,000.
The resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States is powered by the unprecedented number of cases recorded in the southern states, including Alabama, Nevada and Texas.
The US may also witness a spike in COVID-19 related hospitalisations and deaths over the next four weeks, the country’s public health agency CDC has warned.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published ensemble forecasts on Wednesday pegging 9,600 to 33,300 new confirmed COVID-19 hospital admissions likely reported on September 6 and 3,300 to 12,600 new deaths likely reported in the week ending September 4.
As per a report published by CNN, eight southern states account for 15 per cent of the total hospitalisations seen in the United States. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, Mississippi and Texas. Between them, the combined total makes up 51 per cent of the total patients, despite the region accounts for 24 per cent of the nation’s population.
Southern US states see a sharp rise in COVID-19 related hospitalisation, with Texas being worst-hit
Texas is among the worst-hit states with the recent bout of coronavirus outbreak as the frontline workers are overwhelmed and critical equipment stretched dangerously thin. Apparently, the surge is also driven in the states with relatively low vaccination rates, with Texas ranking in the bottom third of the country for vaccinations.
In Austin, the state’s capital, city and county officials issued an emergency alert system over the weekend to inform residents with the warning that the hospital situation is critical, as the number of available intensive care unit beds in a metro area rapidly dwindled into single digits. Authorities fear that if the current trend persists, Austin might witness a record number of deaths due to COVID-19.
The situation in Texas has reached such a stage that the hospitals in the state are now preparing tents in anticipation increased number of patients. However, the hospitals still face a shortage of manpower to attend to all the patients, and it will become worse when they start admitting patients in the tents also.
However, COVID-19 cases in Florida swelled despite having vaccinated 71 per cent of its adult population with at least one shot. On Tuesday this week, the state broke the record again for hospitalisations at 15,169. For weeks, the state was significantly below the national average.