New COVID Wave: Hospitalization Crisis Unfolding 

With the arrival of winter, the United States has started reporting a new wave of coronavirus, which can last until the holiday season is over. Averaging 83,000 cases per day, this is a significant upsurge, compared to late October, when infections started declining.

Hospitals are not adequately staffed for new COVID wave

An epidemiologist at the University of California, Dr. George Rutherford, said after seeing the recent numbers, he suspects this is the start of the new winter surge. 

The latest wave has not prompted a lot of new admissions in hospitals. However, it is impacting the western and upper midwestern states more than any other part of the country. 

According to the latest CDC data, Michigan is reporting the most COVID cases in the country, followed by Minnesota. Both of these states are controlled by Democrat governors right now. 

Even though the hospitalization rate has not increased much, most of the hospitals are much less prepared than last year to counter any new wave of the pandemic.

The President of America’s Essential Hospitals, Dr. Bruc Siegel, said every hospital faces a chronic shortage of staff, especially nurses. This can have drastic consequences on their ability to tackle the crisis.

Dr. Kencee Graves from the University of Utah said they had to shut down their ICU, due to a staff shortage. She likewise added the stamina and resources this time are much less available, compared to the last year.

Troy Clark, the president of the New Mexico Hospital Association, said the state observed a much higher inflow of patients into hospitals, making the health facilities extremely occupied. Therefore, the room to accommodate COVID-19 patients is no longer available.

Pfizer looking forward to bringing COVID pill to market

At the peak of the delta wave, almost 172,500 new infections were reported on September 3. However, since then, the cases started declining up to 70,000 per day for nearly three weeks until now.

Nearly 47,000 people are currently hospitalized nationwide, due to the virus, and its fatality is roughly 1,150 per day. Northeast and Midwest regions have reported a dramatic 37% and 19% surge in COVID cases, which is the reason for increasing the national average as well.

Meanwhile, Pfizer is seeking Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its COVID-19 pill, which is expected to help people avoid severe symptoms. Paxlovid, the newly developed pill, is likely to reduce the hospitalization rate by 90 percent, according to the company.

The pharmaceutical company also announced it signed a deal to allow other manufacturers to produce the pill that would make the medicine available to nearly half of the global population.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s CEO, said the clinical studies of the pill depict a promising trend, which can prove vital in the fight against the pandemic.