Washington, United States:
The United States surpassed 9 million coronavirus cases reported on Friday and broke its own record for new daily infections for the second day in a row, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, as Covid-19 rises days before the country does not choose its next president. .
The United States, which has seen a resurgence of its outbreak since mid-October, has now recorded 9,034,295 cases, according to a real-time tally from the Baltimore-based school.
The country set a record for new daily infections of more than 94,000 in 24 hours on Friday, breaking the record of 91,000 it set the day before.
With the virus spreading fastest in the Midwest and South, hospitals are also filling up again, stretching the healthcare system as the country heads into flu season.
“We are not ready for this wave,” Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, warned Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Authorities in El Paso, Texas, imposed a curfew this week to protect “overwhelmed” healthcare workers and began setting up field hospitals.
But a judge’s attempt to shut down non-essential businesses in the city has been challenged by the state mayor and attorney general, The Washington Post reported.
The Midwestern state of Wisconsin has also set up a field hospital in recent weeks, and Missouri hospital workers have sounded the alarm bells as cases spike.
Hospitals in the western state of Utah were preparing to ration care as early as next week, as patients flood their intensive care units, local media reported.
“ Completely disqualifying ”
The pandemic pattern so far shows that hospitalizations typically start to increase several weeks after infections and deaths a few weeks after.
More than 229,000 people have died from the virus in the United States since the start of the pandemic, Hopkins’ tally showed on Friday, with the daily number of deaths rising steadily in recent weeks as well – although at present it remains below the maximum levels.
For months, public health officials have warned of an increase in the number of cases as cooler fall weather sets in in the United States, pushing more people indoors.
As the weather changes, New York and other parts of the Northeast, which were the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak in the spring but largely controlled the virus during the summer, were reporting a worrying increase.
Some epidemiologists believe that Covid-19 spreads more easily in drier, cooler air.
Rural areas, which in the spring seemed to fare slightly compared to overcrowded cities, were also facing spikes, with states like North Dakota recording one of the biggest increases in recent weeks.
The state is so overwhelmed that earlier this month it told residents to do their own contact tracing, local media reported.
Four days before the election, Donald Trump was fighting to retain the White House against challenger Joe Biden, who criticized the president’s response to the virus.
“This is as harsh an indictment as one can imagine of a president’s record, and it’s totally disqualifying,” Biden said Friday as the record passed nine million.
Trump plays down the virus even as the toll accelerates again, staging a series of rallies with little social distancing or mask use.
He has repeatedly told his supporters that the country is “going around the curve” of Covid infections.
But Americans, wary of crowded voting booths on polling day as the virus spreads, are voting early in record numbers.