New Delhi: As the Delta Variant cases see a spike in the United States, the Austin area with a population of almost 2.4 million people has just six intensive-care unit beds left, state health data stated.
The US city of Austin sounded an alarm on Saturday using its emergency alert system to inform residents through text messages, emails and phone calls that with just six intensive care unit beds and 313 ventilators left in the city, the pandemic has reached a “dire” state, reported Bloomberg.
“The situation is critical,” public health medical director Desmar Walkes said in a statement on Saturday, warning of a “catastrophe” as it sent the notification to residents at noon through text messages, emails and phone calls.
“Our hospitals are severely stressed and there is little we can do to alleviate their burden with the surging cases,” he added.
The warning came just two days after the city’s health department bumped up its risk level to its highest at stage 5 due to the highly contagious delta variant, pushing residents to get vaccinated, stay home and mask up even if they have had their shots.
New infections in the U.S. have rebounded to more than 100,000 a day on average, returning to levels of the winter surge six months ago. Weekly cases on Friday passed 750,000, the most since early February, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.
Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci singled out Texas and Florida as the two states contributing the most number of cases to the country’s Covid-tally. “It clearly has taken a very bad turn,” Fauci told Bloomberg earlier this week. New admissions in hospitals jumped to a whopping 600% in Austin last month, while patients in intensive-care units jumped 570%. Currently, 102 patients are on ventilation, marking a huge jump from eight patients in July, reported Bloomberg.
Texas, with a population of about 29 million, has 439 ICU beds available — and 6,991 ventilators. The Houston area, with a population of 6.7 million, has just 41 ICU beds remaining. The greater Dallas area, which has more than 8 million people, has 110 ICU beds available.