Alaska, which led most U.S. states to coronavirus vaccinations months ago, took the drastic step Wednesday in imposing crisis care standards for its entire hospital system, saying an overwhelming increase in patients with COVID-19 has forced the rationing of strained medical resources.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy and health officials announced the move after the number of newly confirmed cases nationwide reached another record of 1,224 patients amid a wave of infections triggered by the spread of the highly contagious delta variant among the unvaccinated.
The delta variant is “damaging our health care system. It is affecting everything from heart attacks to strokes in our children if they fall into a bicycle accident,” Dr. Anne Zink, an Alaska medical official, told a news conference. me Dunleavy Me
Alaska Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum announced that he signed an emergency supplement that extends across all state standards of crisis care announced last week at the state’s largest hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. The new document limits the liability of crisis-level medical care providers in all Alaska hospitals.
Moreover, he acknowledges the realities of nationwide rationed care, with scant medical supplies and preferentially assigned staff in a way that negates normal levels of care for some patients for the sake of others, depending on how ill are also their chances of recovery.
To cope with the influx of COVID-19, Alaska has signed a $ 87 million U.S. contract to enroll hundreds of overseas health care workers, officials said.
About one-fifth of Alaska hospital patients are infected with COVID-19, according to state data. But that figure underestimates the burden placed on the system as a whole as it “squeezes” the capacity to treat victims of car accidents, strokes, heart attacks and other illnesses, Dunleavy said.
Paradoxically, in April, Alaska was ranked among the top states receiving COVID-19 vaccines in the arms of residents, aided in large part by the efforts of the state’s indigenous population aware of the pandemic.
Alaska has since fallen below the national average, with only 58 percent of residents aged 12 and over fully vaccinated, according to the state database. The decline in vaccination coincided with considerable political resistance to public health demands.
-From Reuters, last updated at 6:45 AM ET
What is happening all over Canada
Saskatchewan’s only children’s hospital is opening its pediatric intensive care unit for young people with COVID-19.
Those under the age of 40 are being admitted to Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon. Saskatchewan Health Authority said Wednesday that so far two adults are in the pediatric ICU, and space is being created for more.
Dr Susan Shaw, chief health officer of the health authority, said critical care capacity is under strain.
The province has recently reportedrecord number of COVID-19 hospitalizations mainly unvaccinated patients.
-From The Canadian Press, last updated at 6:40 AM ET
What is happening all over the world
As of early Thursday morning, more than 230.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University case tracking tool. The reported number of global deaths was more than 4.7 million.
Inequality in COVID-19 vaccine distribution was put in the sharpest focus on Thursday as many of the countries in Africawhose populations have little or no access to life-saving shots came to the podium to speak at the UN annual meeting of world leaders.
Already, the fight to control the coronavirus pandemic has been prominently featured in speeches by leaders in recent days, many of them kept at bay precisely because of the virus.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa described the vaccines as “humanity’s greatest defense against the devastation of this pandemic”.
“It is therefore a great concern that the global community has not upheld the principles of solidarity and cooperation in ensuring equal access to COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.
“It is a lawsuit against humanity that more than 82 percent of vaccine doses in the world have been taken from rich countries, while less than one percent has gone to low-income countries.”
He and others called on UN member states to support a proposal to temporarily waive some of the intellectual property rights created by the World Trade Organization to allow more countries, especially low-income countries. and secondary, produce COVID-19 vaccines.
Angolan President Joo Loureno said it was “shocking to see the inequality between some nations and others regarding the availability of vaccines”.
“These inequalities allow the administration of third doses, in some cases, while, in other cases, such as in Africa, the vast majority of the population has not even received the first dose,” Loureno said.
INAmerica,The Pan American Health Organization has warned that countries in the region could continue to face localized COVID-19 outbreaks by 2022, even though deaths have dropped from their peak in January.
INMiddle East, Syria is facing a new rise in infections both in government-controlled areas and in territory outside state control that could defeat the war-torn fragile health system of the country.
INAsia-Pacificregion, the streets in the Australian city of Melbourne were mostly calm on Thursday after three days of anti-blockade protests, with hundreds of police patrolling to prevent another rally as COVID-19 cases in Victoria reached a daily pandemic record.
Police in central Melbourne were checking people’s reasons for being outside, images showed on social media after a violent protest on Wednesday in Australia’s second largest city resulted in more than 200 arrests. State officials this week ordered a two-week closure of construction sites and made vaccinations mandatory for construction workers to limit the spread of the virus.
Japan plans to give other countries 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, doubling the target from the previous promise of 30 million doses.
Thailand, meanwhile, has scrapped plans to reopen Bangkok and several other major cities for foreign arrivals by November.
INEurope, The European Medicines Agency is likely to decide in early October whether to approve a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be given half a year after the initial two-stroke course.
“The outcome of this assessment is expected in early October, unless additional information is required,” the agency’s head of vaccine strategy, Marco Cavaleri, told a news conference Thursday.
-By Reuters and Associated Press, last updated at 2pm ET
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