While hospital beds are easily convertible for intensive care, the most difficult challenge is to have enough advanced practice nurses who are qualified to care for these patients and equipment such as ventilators, Time.
Hospitals can “rotate enough space,” said Jay Wolfson, professor of public health at the University of South Florida. “The trick is going to be staffing. If you burn people, they get sick, then you lose critical care staff.”
Beds are no longer the only thing hospitals currently lack: some states have ordered refrigerated trucks to Time reported. In Texas, officials said the trucks were being prepared because the hospital morgues were filling up. In Arizona, two hospital systems in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, also plan to use refrigerated trucks. The mayor of Phoenix said on Tuesday that the county mortuary was close to capacity.
Medical supplies are also lacking: Roopa Ganga, an infectious disease specialist in two hospitals near Tampa, told the Time that they lacked sufficient supplies of remdesivir, the drug COVID-19, forcing her to choose the patients who needed it most. Patients were also discharged “aggressively”, sometimes returning to worse condition a few days later.
“About five people returned in a week last week,” she said. “It makes me feel, you know, that you have to slow down.”
As of Wednesday, the number of coronavirus cases in the United States has exceeded 3.4 million, the death toll having exceeded 136,000, according to a Time pointing.
According to the same count, the top five states in Wednesday’s coronavirus cases were: New York with nearly 408,000; California with more than 346,000; Florida with more than 291,000; Texas with more than 284,000 and New Jersey with more than 177,800.
Nations grappling with a pandemic
Elsewhere in the world, the situation remains difficult.
Even though the pandemic is easing in Europe and parts of Asia, it is getting worse in India. This country now has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases, with more than 936,000 infections, according to a count by Johns Hopkins.
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