COVID-19: United States can become Italy, warn health experts

WION Web Team Washington, United States Mar 26, 2020, 01.17 PM(IST)

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator displays the new testing protocols being deployed for coronavirus. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Doctors in US hospitals filled with Covid-19 patients have been forced to ration care and choose who gets a ventilator.

Public health experts have warned the Unites States that it could become the next Italy after coronavirus patients have start to overwhelm US hospitals.

According to US Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams, the country is ''already be seeing the beginnings of this in some areas, marking a new stage of the nation's outbreak.''

Also read: Pompeo attacks Chinese virus campaign at G7 as Europeans seek cooperation

Doctors in US hospitals filled with Covid-19 patients have been forced to ration care and choose who gets a ventilator.

"The reality is that what we're seeing right now in our emergency rooms is dire," said Dr Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

Also read: US coronavirus cases near 70,000, more than 1,000 dead

Officials in New York state are pushing hospitals across the state to increase capacity. The state is home to more than 6 per cent of the world's confirmed cases so far and roughly half of all US cases.

Plans are also underway in the state to build emergency hospitals and backfill other hospitals with 1,000 beds in the Javits Center, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

The number of deaths caused by the novel coronavirus rose to 1,031 in the United States on Wednesday, with 68,572 confirmed cases nationwide, a tracker run by the Johns Hopkins University showed.

There are simultaneous effort to procure ventilators for the most severe patients. According to Cuomo, New York has procured 7,000 ventilators in addition to 4,000 already on hand, and the White House said Tuesday that the state would receive two shipments of 2,000 machines this week from the national stockpile.

However, the requirement of the state is 30,000 as per its governor.