The surge of COVID-19 in the United States is increasing the oxygen supply and sending hospitals a scramble to get more ventilators, although there are signs of hope that the spread of the virus is slowing in the country’s pockets.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a hospital recently called 911 after arriving within a few hours of running out of oxygen because they needed emergency transportation of a patient on high-flow oxygen. The hospital got a shipment later that day, but the experience was a warning to other hospitals, said Dr. Jeffrey Goodlow, chief medical officer of EMS that serves Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
“If it can happen to one hospital, it can happen to any hospital,” Goodloy said. “No, it’s happening there.” It’s here in a heartbeat.”
The lack of oxygen is another sign of the toll that the summer resurgence of the COVID-19 coronavirus has taken on the country’s hospital system. A handful of states including Florida, Oregon, Hawaii, Mississippi and Louisiana have set epidemiological records for the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions, and many hospitals are seriously short of staffing and ICU beds.
However, there is some good news.
The country averages 155,000 new infections a day, but the trajectory of the number of cases has slowed significantly from August.
Vaccination numbers are up, and Jeff Zentes, the White House coordinator for COVID-19, credits vaccine mandates being implemented across the country, including restaurants, workplaces, sports stadiums and schools.
“Most importantly, we accelerated the pace of first shots. In August, we got more than 14 million. That’s nearly four million more first shots in August compared to the previous month in July,” Zenz said Tuesday.
But the numbers haven’t budged much in one 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 across the United States rose to 898,000 on Monday, compared to 853,000 a week earlier.
And deaths are also on the rise, averaging more than 1,300 per day, in what health officials had predicted would happen as a result of the massive surge in cases and hospitalizations over the past month.
–From The Associated Press, last updated at 5:40 p.m. ET
What’s happening all over Canada
- Saskatchewan doctors are asking the government for passports for vaccines and other measures for the fourth wave, an approach that runs counter to Moe’s “heavy” approach.
What is happening around the world
As of late Tuesday morning, more than 217.4 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracking tool. The reported global death toll has reached more than 4.5 million.
in a EuropeThe head of the European Union’s executive arm said the 27-nation bloc has reached its goal of having 70 per cent of adults in the European Union fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of the summer. In a message posted on Tuesday on Twitter, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen thanked people for making this “great achievement possible” but noted that there was more to be done.
Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said on Tuesday that Ireland, which has seen one of Europe’s longest-running COVID-19 lockdowns, will drop nearly all pandemic-related restrictions in October after one of the continent’s most successful vaccine launches.
From October 22, the requirement to obtain vaccination certificates in bars and restaurants will be abolished, as will all restrictions on the numbers of those attending indoor and outdoor events. As part of the gradual easing of restrictions, the government is recommending that theaters and cinemas reopen at 60 per cent capacity next week and that non-essential workers return to offices from September 20.
In the Middle east, The Israeli Ministry of Health stated that the country recorded a new daily record for diagnosing coronavirus cases, with the delta variable rising. The Israeli government recorded 10,947 new cases on Monday, two days before 2.4 million students returned to school this week. The country’s previous epidemic 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 state is offering third booster shots to all of its eligible residents, requiring masks indoors and promising better enforcement of safety measures. Nearly 6 million of Israel’s population of 9.3 million have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. He received almost 2.2 million third rounds.
In the Asia Pacific In the region, South Korean officials are expressing cautious hope that transmission of COVID-19 will begin to slow, after battling the country’s worst wave of infections in weeks. Korea’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Tuesday reported the country’s lowest daily jump in nearly two weeks at 1,372 cases.
A senior health ministry official has appealed to citizens to remain vigil before next month’s Thanksgiving holiday, the Korean version of Thanksgiving, when millions usually travel across the country to meet with relatives.
in a Africa, South African scientists have discovered a new type of coronavirus with multiple mutations, but they have not yet determined whether it is more contagious or able to overcome the immunity provided by vaccines or previous infections.
— From The Associated Press, Reuters, and CBC News, last updated at 5:40 p.m. ET