US hospitals at ‘breaking point’ as Covid-19 rebounds in multiple areas

Michigan, which currently has the highest per-capita case rate in the US, has however not issued any new restrictions on public gatherings, instead encouraging more citizens to mask up and get vaccinated.
Emergency room nurses talk outside the emergency room at Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, US. (File Photo / REUTERS)
Emergency room nurses talk outside the emergency room at Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, US. (File Photo / REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 23, 2021 10:19 AM IST
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Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The United States is currently seeing a rebound in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, reported the Bloomberg news agency, adding that the surge is driven by the fast-spreading Delta variant, which has taken a toll on the country's already-stressed healthcare system despite the relatively widespread availability of vaccines. 

The Covid-19 rebound seen in several parts of the country is just as bad as last November's, according to data compiled by the agency from the US department of health and human services.

Also Read | Rising cases in US, Europe fuel another global surge

Patients with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19 are taking up more ICU beds than a year earlier in as many as 15 states – with Colorado, Minnesota, and Michigan showing the highest hospitalisation (under intensive care) rates so far, 41 per cent, 37 per cent, and 34 per cent, respectively.

Michigan, which currently has the highest per-capita case rate in the US, has however not issued any new restrictions on public gatherings, instead encouraging more citizens to mask up and get vaccinated. 

Data compiled by Bloomberg from the US department of health and human services shows the percentage of total staffed ICU beds occupied by Covid-19 patients in the three aforementioned states. 
Data compiled by Bloomberg from the US department of health and human services shows the percentage of total staffed ICU beds occupied by Covid-19 patients in the three aforementioned states. 

“Many of our physicians are at a breaking point,” Ali Mokdad, a professor with the University of Washington’s institute for health metrics and evaluation, was quoted as saying. “It’s not easy to be a day in and day out in an emergency room, in an ICU, looking at someone who is dying because he or she is not vaccinated.”

Also Read | US announces launch of global Covid-19 tracker portal

Since staffed ICU beds in many areas remain occupied by patients with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases, there's proportionately less space in the hospitals for those suffering from other ailments, many of them potentially deadly. The situation particularly bodes ill news for the Northeast states, where cases began surging a few weeks after the Midwest and the Rocky Mountains.

After about two months of declining infections, the US has been reporting daily increases for the past two weeks, driven by the more easily transmitted Delta variant of the virus and people spending more time indoors due to colder weather. According to experts, protection instilled by vaccines is waning, and the country could face yet another major wave of the pandemic this winter.

Meanwhile, US regulators expanded eligibility for booster shots of Covid-19 vaccines to all adults last Friday, allowing millions of Americans to get additional protection against the virus amid a recent rise in infections.

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