US Medical News: America Registers Record 40,184 New COVID-19 Infections In Last 24 Hours
US Medical News
: The total number of confirmed new COVID-19 cases per day in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 40,184 in the last 24 hours, eclipsing the mark set during one of the deadliest stretches in late April, in a resurgence that has led some governors to backtrack or at least pause the reopening of their states.
Though the increase is believed to reflect, in part, greatly expanded testing, experts say there is ample evidence the virus is making a comeback, including rising deaths and hospitalizations in parts of the country, especially in the South and West. Arizona, Texas and Florida are among the states that have been hit hard.
The new number of confirmed infections soared past the previous high set on April 24 of 36,400, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. are down to around 600 per day, compared with about 2,200 in mid-April. Some experts have expressed doubt that deaths will return to that level, in part because of advances in treatment and prevention but also because a large share of the new infections are in younger adults, who are more likely than older ones to survive.
However the number of individuals in critical condition at the moment are telling a different story. It is reported that there are more than 24,000 patients in critical condition.
The coronavirus virus is blamed for 126,800 deaths in the U.S. and 2.5 million confirmed infections nationwide. But U.S. health officials said the true number of Americans infected is about 20 million, or almost 10 times higher. Worldwide, the virus has claimed close to a half-million lives.
Another record daily increase in India pushed the caseload in the world's second most populous nation toward half a million. And other countries with big populations like Indonesia, Pakistan and Mexico grappled with large numbers of infections and strained health care systems.
South Africa, which accounts for about half of the infections on the African continent with over 118,000, reported a record of nearly 6,600 new cases after loosening what had been one of the world's strictest lockdowns earlier this month.
Italy, one of the hardest-hit European nations, battled to control an outbreak among Bulgarian seasonal crop pickers near Naples.The governor of the southern Campania region insisted that the workers who live in an apartment complex with dozens of COVID-19 cases stay inside for just over two weeks, not even emerging for food-authorities will deliver groceries to them.
Back in the U.S., the state of Arizona reported over 3,000 additional infections reported Thursday, the fourth day in a week with a increase over that mark. The state postponed further efforts to reopen.
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey said, “The numbers continue to go in the wrong direction.”
In the same light, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas put off lifting any more restrictions Thursday and reimposed a ban on elective surgeries in some places to preserve hospital space after the number of patients statewide more than doubled in two weeks. And Nevada's governor ordered the wearing of face masks in public, Las Vegas casinos included.
It was also reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has cost California's public and private insurers an estimated US$2.4 billion dollars in testing and treatment, about six times the annual cost to treat seasonal influenza in the state, according to a new study by researchers at the Nicholas C. Petris Center at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.
Without a vaccine, this number could grow to US$25.1 billion before enough of the population becomes infected to achieve herd immunity, the study found. The US$25.1 billion estimate represents about 6% of the total annual health care spending in California.
The main majority of the costs about 59% are born by commercial insurers who could pass the sudden expenditure onto consumers in the form of price hikes on health insurance premiums. The rest of the costs are split among the federally-run Medicare program, the state-run Medi-Cal program and uninsured individuals.
The country’stop public health agency on Thursday revamped its list of which Americans are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness, adding pregnant women and removing age alone as a factor.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also changed the list of underlying conditions that make someone more susceptible to suffering and death. Sickle cell disease joined the list, for example. And the threshold for risky levels of obesity was lowered.
The new changes didn't include adding race as a risk factor for serious illness, despite accumulating evidence that Black people, Hispanics and Native Americans have higher rates of infection, hospitalization and death.
The Agency officials said the update was prompted by medical studies published since CDC first started listing high-risk groups. They sought to publicize the information before Independence Day weekend, when many people may be tempted to go out and socialize.
Meanwhile US President Donald Trump's administration has asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to strike down Obamacare, which has provided health insurance to tens of millions of Americans.
The new third challenge to the landmark law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, comes as the United States records some of its highest coronavirus infection rates since the contagion hit the country.
Millions of Americans are required to buy health insurance or face a tax penalty under Obamacare.
However in 2017 Congress eliminated the fine for people who failed to sign up known as the individual mandate removing a key part of former president Barack Obama's policy.
The DOJ or Department of Justice argues "the individual mandate is not severable from the rest of the Act."
As a result of that "the mandate is now unconstitutional as a result of Congress's elimination ... of the penalty for noncompliance," it said in a late filing.
It says, "the entire ACA thus must fall with the individual mandate."
The Department of Justice also argues that ACA coverage protecting people with pre-existing conditions rules that mean insurers cannot refuse customers because of their age, gender or health status should also be overturned.
The US Supreme Court will hear the case in its next term starting October, but US media reported that it is unlikely to be examined before the presidential election in November.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the Trump administration's move and called it an "act of unfathomable cruelty" during the pandemic.
She said if passed 150 million Americans with pre-existing conditions could lose the ACA's protections, and as many as 23 million citizens could be left without any insurance.
She said, "There is no legal justification and no moral excuse for the Trump Administration's disastrous efforts to take away Americans' health care.”
US health officials now believe based on antibody surveys that about 25 million people may have been infected at some point 10 times higher than the officially recorded figure of around 2.5 million.
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