The coronavirus situation is getting serious in the United States and Italy.
In fact, the number of US COVID-19 infections rose above 82,000 on Thursday which is more than the national tallies of both China and Italy.
And that’s not the only problem.
The rise in the number of cases in places like New York and New Orleans has inevitably led to shortages of medical supplies, medical staff and sick beds.
Italy & the US Are Soon Going to Have More COVID-19 Cases Than China
To give you a glimpse of how bad the situation is in these places:
Medical facilities in the US are currently facing low supplies of ventilators, protective masks, and limited diagnostic testing capacity.
In addition, the number of deaths in the United States due to the coronavirus has increased to more than 1,200.
“Any scenario that is realistic will overwhelm the capacity of the healthcare system,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference.
He also said that the US’s shortage of ventilators, which helps those who can’t breathe on their own is “astronomical.”
“It’s not like they have them sitting in the warehouse. There is no stockpile available,” he said.
One New York City hospital, named New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan has even resorted to trialling the sharing of single ventilators between two patients.
The Situation In US & Italy
In total, there are around 82,153 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Thursday based on state and local public health authorities.
In comparison, China has the second-highest number of cases at 81,285.
Italy has the third-highest number of cases at 80,539.
Reuters reported that there have been around 1,206 deaths due to the coronavirus in the United States.
Unsurprisingly, the virus is especially dangerous to the elderly and those with underlying chronic health conditions.
Focus On Increasing Number Of Hospital Beds
For New York, Cuomo said that it’s imperative to rapidly increase the number of available hospital beds from 53,000 to 140,000.
This means that hospitals need to increase their capacity by at least 50%.
Some hospitals in New York, such as Mount Sinai Hospital’s Upper East Side location are constructing rooms within an atrium to open up more space for beds.
Hospitals might even have to resort to “rationing healthcare” and are drafting guidelines on how to allocate medical supplies like ventilators to patients if there’s a shortage.
US Labor Department Reports More People Filing Unemployment Claims
There has been an increase in layoffs in the United States following local governments issuing stay-at-home orders for around half of the people in the United States.
Consequently, the US Labor Department reported that the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits increased to a record of nearly 3.28 million.
This figure is almost five times the previous weekly record of 695,000 which was recorded during the 1982 recession.
However, according to Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases there is a chance that the warmer weather during the summer might lower the US outbreak.
That said the virus could reemerge during the winter when it is colder.