The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States is expanding oxygen supplies and sending hospitals scrambling for more ventilators, although there are signs of hope that the spread of the virus is slowing in pockets across the country.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a hospital recently called 911 after just hours of running out of oxygen because it needed an emergency transfer for a patient on high flow oxygen. The hospital received a delivery later that day, but the experience was a warning to other hospitals, said Dr Jeffrey Goodloe, chief medical officer for the EMS system that serves Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
“If it can happen at a hospital, it can happen at any hospital,” Goodloe said. “There is no ‘it’s happening over there’. It is here in the blink of an eye.”
Oxygen shortages are another sign of the toll that the summer resurgence of COVID-19 has taken over the country’s hospital system. A handful of states, including Florida, Oregon, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Louisiana, have set pandemic records for the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and many hospitals are dangerously understaffed and understaffed. intensive care unit beds.
There is good news, however.
The country records an average of 155,000 new infections per day, but the trajectory of the number of cases has slowed considerably since the beginning of August.
The number of vaccinations is also on the rise, and White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients has credited the vaccination mandates that have been implemented across the country, including restaurants, workplaces, sports stadiums and schools.
“It is important to note that we have increased the pace of the first shots. In August, we received over 14 million. This is almost four million more first shots in August compared to the previous month in July.” , Zients said Tuesday.
But the numbers haven’t moved much in a week since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave Pfizer full approval for its vaccine after reviewing six months of safety data. The seven-day average vaccine doses administered in the United States rose to 898,000 on Monday, from 853,000 a week earlier.
Deaths are also on the rise, averaging more than 1,300 a day, in what health officials have predicted due to the massive increase in cases and hospitalizations over the past month.
-From The Associated Press, last updated at 5:40 p.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
- Saskatchewan doctors ask government for passports for vaccines and other 4th wave measures, Moe rejects “heavy hand” approach.
What is happening in the world
As of late morning Tuesday, more than 217.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Tracker. The death toll worldwide was over 4.5 million.
In Europe, the president of the executive of the European Union said that the bloc of 27 countries had reached its goal of having 70% of adults in the EU vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of the summer. In a Twitter message on Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen thanked people for making this “great achievement possible”, but noted that there was still a long way to go.
Ireland, which has seen one of Europe’s longest COVID-19 lockdowns, will drop almost all pandemic restrictions in October after one of the continent’s most successful vaccine deployments, the Prime Minister said on Tuesday Micheal Martin.
From October 22, the requirement for vaccination certificates in bars and restaurants will be removed, along with any restrictions on the number of participants in indoor and outdoor events. As part of a gradual easing of restrictions, the government recommends reopening theaters and cinemas at 60% capacity next week and returning non-essential workers to offices from September 20.
In the Middle East, Israel’s health ministry reports that the country has set a new daily record for diagnosed coronavirus cases as the delta variant increases. The Israeli government registered 10,947 new cases on Monday, two days before 2.4 million students returned to school this week. The country’s previous pandemic record of 10,118 new cases was set on January 18.
Israel is home to one of the fastest vaccination programs in the world. The country is offering third booster shots to all of its eligible population, requiring masks indoors and promising better enforcement of safety measures. Almost 6 million of the 9.3 million Israelis have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Almost 2.2 million received a third injection.
In the Asia Pacific region, South Korean officials express cautious hope that COVID-19 transmissions will begin to slow, after battling the country’s worst wave of infections for weeks. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Tuesday reported the country’s lowest daily jump in about two weeks with 1,372 cases.
A senior health ministry official urged citizens to remain vigilant ahead of next month’s Chuseok holiday, the Korean version of Thanksgiving, when millions of people typically travel across the country to meet relatives.
In Africa, South African scientists have detected a new variant of the coronavirus with multiple mutations, but have not yet established whether it is more contagious or able to overcome the immunity provided by vaccines or a previous infection.
-From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated 5:40 p.m. ET