Washington, Oct 30 - Hospitals in some regions of the United States are on the verge of collapse, after the record number of Covid-19 patients who arrive at those centers, specialized entities on the subject reported.
More than 45,000 people are admitted nationwide, compared to 30,000 at the beginning of the month, but the numbers continue to increase, according to the Covid-19 Monitoring Project.
Hospitals in some areas of the country show a high level of tension due to the steady increase in cases and admissions, which show no signs of slowing down.
The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper noted that hospitals in Utah are in dire straits and will soon start turning away patients.
“Our health centers cannot keep up with the rate of infection,” Governor Gary Herbert (Republican) tweeted Thursday; "You must understand the terrible situation we are facing."
In El Paso, Texas, authorities are installing a field hospital in the city's convention center to help cope with rising revenues.
Kootenai Health, a hospital in Idaho, warned in a statement last week that it was 99% full and that many hospitals in the area are not accepting more patients because they are also full.
"Hospital capacity will be a primary concern," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, principal investigator at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
While hospital treatment for the coronavirus has improved since the early days of the pandemic, with new drugs available like remdesivir and dexamethasone, and better knowledge among physicians, once capacity is overwhelmed that is no longer true, he added.
The worsening of the health crisis due to Covid-19 takes place just a few days before next Tuesday's elections, while President Donald Trump mocks some of the preventive measures to avoid the disease and insists on minimizing the impact of the coronavirus on the country.
Trump attributes much of the numbers to increased testing, but the number of people hospitalized for the virus tells a different story, raising fears about the ability of regional health care systems to respond to overwhelming demand. Thursday the newspaper The New York Times.
For his part, Democratic candidate Joe Biden is pushing for the federal government to take a more active role in stepping up the tests, calling on governors to impose mask mandates, among other actions.
Many experts are calling for masks to be imposed at a minimum, saying closing venues like indoor bars and diners can also help, but in some states, especially those run by Republican governors, such measures have little reception.
According to The Hill newspaper, such drastic measures are not expected at the national level in the United States as those adopted in European nations.
However, according to the publication, experts expect that many states and localities will be forced to implement at least specific provisions such as closing bars and indoor dining as the situation worsens.
The United States exceeded 9,180,350 cases of Covid-19, and the disease caused more than 233,800 deaths, according to the Worldometer digital site. (Text and photo: PL)