Mississippi running out of ICU beds amid soaring COVID-19 cases

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NEW YORK, July 9 (Xinhua) — U.S. state Mississippi’s five largest hospitals had no intensive care unit (ICU) beds available for patients by Wednesday, while four other hospitals had 5 percent or less open, officials said Thursday.

Mississippi is among the states recording the greatest increases in COVID-19 cases in the country. The Grenada county, which has nine ICU beds, reported a 22-percent increase in coronavirus cases this week compared to last week, according to data by Johns Hopkins University.

“We are gravely concerned,” said Ustav Nandi, emergency care doctor of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, capital city of the state. “While I know COVID-19 is on the forefront of everyone’s minds right now, other diseases have not taken a backseat during this pandemic. We want to be there so that we can take care of our patients when they come in for emergencies: heart attacks, strokes, sepsis, trauma, other infections.”

Governor Tate Reeves announced Thursday that starting early next week, in the 13 counties with the fastest-growing rates of new COVID-19 cases, people will be requested to wear masks in public, and business owners will be required to screen employees for infections.

The government will limit gatherings to 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors in the 13 counties, Reeves added. The current statewide limit is 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Enditem

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