Fueled by Delta, Covid cases are on the rise in US; Florida hit worst
The United States is seeing a record increase in the number of patients hospitalised for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in recent weeks, but the worst-affected state seems to be Florida, where more people are being admitted to the hospital and eventually succumbing to their deaths than at any previous point during the pandemic, according to a report by the New York Times. More than 200 Covid-19 fatalities are being reported on average from Florida each day this week, the publication reported, adding that these are by far the highest numbers in the United States right now.
A database maintained by the Times showed that the average for daily new Covid-19 cases in Florida reached 23,314 on the weekend, which is 30 per cent higher than the state's previous peak in January. In Tennessee, children now make up 36 per cent of the new Covid-19 cases, a sombre milestone in the battle against the virus. According to the state's health commissioner Lisa Piercey, Tennessee had 14,000 paediatric cases in the last seven days—a 57 per cent increase over the previous week.
Kentucky and Texas have also joined the list of states where intensive care units (ICUs) are overflowing with patients extremely ill with the coronavirus, while top health officials in New Mexico warned on Wednesday that the state is about a week away from rationing health care.
Meanwhile, the US was reported to have recorded more than 1,100 new Covid-19 deaths on a nationwide average, amid a surge that is affecting more children and overwhelming doctors and nurses, on Thursday. This is the highest level that the average new death toll has reached since mid-March, and new Covid-19 cases per day in the US are averaging over 152,000, turning the clock back to the end of January. As of early this week, the number of people in the hospital down with the coronavirus disease was around 85,000, a level not seen since early February.
Public health officials in the United States have said that the recent surge in Covid-19 cases is largely fueled by the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is latching on to the unvaccinated. In areas where vaccination rates are particularly low, doctors have pleaded with their communities to get inoculated to spare overburdened hospitals.