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On Wednesday there were more than 100,200 people being treated for COVID-19 in US hospitals according to the COVID Tracking Project, the highest figure thus far recorded. The United States has already recorded the most coronavirus cases and deaths in the world by some margin.
Speaking to CNN medical professionals claimed the situation is deteriorating and warned America faces a very tough winter.
Dr David Andes, an infectious disease expert within the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Medicine, warned their hospitals are now 98 percent full.
He added: “Our numbers are pretty out of control right now.”
A similarly bleak view was provided by Dr Jason Mitchell, the chief medical officer at Presbyterian Healthcare Services in the state of New Mexico.
He admitted: “We are out of leavers to pull.”
The doctor added: “When you run out of resources, whether that’s doctors or nurses or beds or ventilators, you cannot give the best care.
“We are not there yet but we are very close as a state.”
According to CNN over the past week the US averaged 161,448 new coronavirus cases diagnosed each day.
This figure is nearly two and a half times higher than the peak summer figure in July.
According to John Hopkins University Tuesday saw 2,597 new coronavirus deaths across the country, the second highest daily figure.
Over the past week the average number of Americans to die from COVID-19 has been 1,531 and there are fears this could increase significantly over the coming months.
Dr Robert Redfield, head of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warned the US could be facing the biggest public health challenge in its history.
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He said: “The reality is, December and January and February are going to be rough times.
“I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation, largely because of the stress that’s going to be put on our health care system.”
Speaking to CNN one Wisconsin county official said: “Our hospital ICUs and emergency rooms remain stretched beyond any reasonable limit and our healthcare workers as well as our patients need our help.”
There are concerns a new spike in cases could be recorded when infections caught over the Thanksgiving holiday start to be registered.
The CDC is urging people to avoid unnecessary travel during the upcoming Christmas break.
On Wednesday the UK approved the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine becoming the first major western nation to do so.
Administration of the vaccine is expected to begin early next week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the news but emphasised it does not mean “our struggle is over”.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference he added: “It’s going to continue to be tough for some sectors – but until the vaccine is deployed our plan relies on all of us making sacrifices to protect the ones we love.”
The vaccine will first be distributed to NHS and home care staff as well as those aged over 80.
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