U.S. hospitalizations continue climb as 11 states set records for new COVID-19 cases
Coronavirus hospital stays continued a dangerous trend in the US while Brazil and India each reached threatening milestones as the global pandemic showed little sign of retreat on Sunday.
Hospital admissions, which hit nearly 60,000 nationwide in July, were down more than half in the last month. Since falling below 29,000 on September 20, the number of people treated in hospitals every day has risen to nearly 35,000.
And a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data by late Saturday shows 11 states have set records for new cases over a seven-day period - Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah. The U.S. has had more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases for its fourth straight day, a series that has not been seen in two months.
The US has now reported more than 7.7 million cases and nearly 215,000 deaths since the first US case was confirmed on Jan. 21. Record deaths were reported in Kansas and North Dakota over a seven-day period.
The US reports more than 50,000 cases for the third day in a row: 9 states set a record
Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and a benefactor of the Gates Foundation, warns that the nation must be prepared for "many additional deaths" if COVID-19 tests do not improve.
"The test results don't come back within 24 hours (and) we're reimbursing those worthless things," Gates said on NBC's Meet the Press. "We run the worst test system in any country for who can access it."
The world is not doing much better.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce stricter restrictions on Monday, including a three-tier system based on the severity of cases in each region of England. Graham Medley, professor of infectious disease modeling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and director of the Center for Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases, warned that "thousands will die" unless Britain can change the course of the disease.
"We are clearly in a difficult position," tweeted Medley. "The scale and rise of infections, admissions and deaths puts us in a similar position to early March. (But) we know the damage that 'lockdown' will bring about. Very, very difficult decisions."
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Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization's special envoy on COVID-19, called on world leaders this week to end the use of lockdowns as the primary control method to contain a surge in viruses.
"We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of combating this virus," Nabarro told The Spectator. According to Nabarro, bans can only be justified "to give you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, and protect your exhausted health workforce. But, by and large, we prefer not to."
In Brazil, the death toll on Saturday night was over 150,000, second only to the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University data. President Jair Bolsonaro has followed President Donald Trump's lead by downplaying the virus, ignoring social distancing guidelines and promoting boisterous political demonstrations.
And like Trump, Bolsonaro contracted the infection and survived a fight with COVID-19 in July.
In India, health officials reported that the total number of infections has exceeded 7 million. This sum is the second largest after the USA.
Contributors: Michael Stucka; The Associated Press
President Donald Trump speaks from the south portico of the White House in Washington, DC during a rally on October 10, 2020.
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: COVID: Hospital admissions; 11 government records; The WHO questions bans
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