US coronavirus hospitalisations hit eight-month high

·2-min read
A woman arrives by ambulance to Wyckoff Hospital in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn (AFP via Getty Images)
A woman arrives by ambulance to Wyckoff Hospital in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn (AFP via Getty Images)

The number of coronavirus patients in US hospitals topped100,000 on Thursday, the highest level in eight months, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

It comes as a resurgence of Covid is spurred by the highly contagious Delta variant, straining the nation’s health care system.

US Covid hospitalisations have more than doubled in the past month.

Over the past week, more than 500 people with Covid were admitted to hospitals each hour on average, according to the latest data.

The US reached its all-time peak for hospitalisations on January 6 when there were 132,051 coronavirus-infected patients in hospital beds, according to a Reuters tally.

As the vaccination campaign rapidly expanded in early 2021, hospitalisations fell and hit a 2021 low of 13,843 on June 28.

However, admissions rose suddenly in July as the Delta variant became the dominant strain. The south has become the epicentre of the latest outbreak but hospitalisations are rising nationwide.

Florida has the highest number of Covid patients, followed by Texas and California, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

More than 95 per cent of intensive care beds are currently occupied in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

The Delta variant, which is rapidly spreading among mostly the unvaccinated US population, has also sent a record number of children to hospital.

There are currently more than 2,000 confirmed and suspected child Covid hospitalisations, according to HHS.

Three states - California, Florida and Texas - amount to about 32 per cent of the total confirmed and suspected pediatric Covid hospitalisations in the US.

Children currently make up about 2.3 per cent of the nation's Covid hospitalisations. Kids under 12 are not eligible to receive the vaccine.

The country is hoping for vaccine authorisation for younger children by autumn with the Pfizer vaccine.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said this week that the nation could get Covid under control by early next year if vaccinations ramp up.

The US has given at least one dose of vaccine to about 61 per cent of its population, according to the CDC.

Additional reporting by the Reuters news agency.

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