Forty-five hospitals in the southern U.S. state of Florida reported Monday having no intensive care beds available, as the surge in coronavirus cases in the United States puts a strain on the health care system.
The state reported more than 12,000 new cases Sunday, its fifth day in a row of reporting more than 10,000.
The Miami area is particularly hard-hit, with nine of the 45 over-burdened hospitals located in Miami-Dade County.
Francis Suarez, the mayor of the city of Miami, instituted tougher fines starting Monday for anyone cited for not wearing a mask in public, with penalties starting at $50 for a first offense and rising as high as $500 for repeat offenders.
California ‘on brink’ of new lockdown
On the other side of the country, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Sunday he is “on the brink” of issuing another stay-at-home order for the nation’s second largest city.
Garcetti blamed the Trump administration for what he called a lack of national leadership in battling the disease.
“This was politicized when it should have been unified. We were left on our own when we should have had help,” he told CNN Sunday. “We know this will be a marathon. Stop telling people this will be over soon. … If we don’t come together as a nation with national leadership, we will see more people die.”
Nationwide, the United States recorded more than 500 deaths and 63,000 new confirmed cases Sunday and by far leads the world in totals for both categories.
Europe focuses on recovery
In Europe, leaders are focused on recovery from the economic aspect of the pandemic as they try to agree on a rescue package of hundreds of billions of dollars.
The talks were targeted to end Saturday, but with different parts of the continent unable to agree on the exact scope of the measure and whether it should contain strict spending controls, negotiations continued into Monday.
Europe has more than 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 200,000 deaths.
The coronavirus has pushed the European Union into a deep recession, with economists predicting the bloc’s economy will shrink 8.3% this year.
Asia, Latin America
Health officials in South Korea reported improvement Monday with 26 new confirmed cases, but only four that were locally transmitted, marking the lowest such number in two months.
Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip urged people to stay vigilant in their efforts to stop the spread of the virus, encouraging them to avoid large crowds and consider staying home during the summer holiday period.
The president of Chile, the world’s largest producer of copper, has announced a five-part plan to reopen the country after some regions showed improvement in the rate of infections.
“These five weeks of improvement allow us to start a new stage today,” President Sebastian Pinera said Sunday. “This plan, which will be step by step, cautiously, prudently, will be applied gradually and flexibly,” he said.
According to the World Health Organization, Chile had 2,300 new cases Sunday, pushing its total to more than 328,000 confirmed cases and nearly 8,500 deaths.
Source: Voice Of America