Every hospital in the United States may soon be treating coronavirus cases, the government’s Health and Human Services agency says in a new report.
Right now, three out of four hospitals are treating confirmed or suspected cases and are dealing with such problems as shortages of equipment, not enough protective gear for doctors and nurses, and hospital workers who are burned out and worried about their own safety.
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“Health care workers feel like they’re at war right now,” a New York hospital administrator told the investigators. “They are seeing people in their 30s, 40s, 50s dying…this takes a large emotional toll.”
In another new government report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its first study Monday on coronavirus in kids — the largest such U.S. study so far during the outbreak.
It says children make up only 1.7% of U.S. coronavirus cases and while the illness is generally mild in kids, some do require hospitalization. Three children are known to have died from coronavirus.
The most common COVID-19 symptoms in children are shortness of breath, fever and cough. The number of cases has been slightly higher in boys than in girls.
The results in the U.S. study are similar to the same kind of study in China and says social distancing by all ages is highly recommended.
Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health, another federal agency, says it is expending its study into a drug called remdesivir, which successfully treated other coronaviruses, SARS and MERS, in animal tests.
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Remdesivir was given intravenously and when given early enough, it prevented infection and lessened the severity of the diseases.
The NIH is currently testing the drug on more than 400 human patients while its manufacturer, California-based Gilead Sciences, has given it to 1700 patients.
Dr. Libby Hohmann of Massachusetts General Hospital says she would enroll members of her family in the studies “in a heartbeat,” saying the lack of approved medications for COVID-19 is “terrifying”.
U.S. President Donald Trump said at Monday’s coronavirus briefing that he told New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that the Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, can now be used for treating COVID patients from New York and New Jersey,
The Comfort is docked in New York Harbor.
Trump deployed the ship last month to take some of the pressure off New York hospitals treating non-coronavirus patients.
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But with so few needing treatment for other illnesses at this time, the ship also will now be used for COVID-19 patients.
Cuomo calls it a “welcome relief.”
Israel will be on complete lockdown during the Passover holiday which begins Wednesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday.
“Every family will sit down for Seder night on its own. Celebrate only with the immediate family that’s at home with you now,” Netanyahu said in a nationally televised message. He had earlier announced a lockdown for Easter and Ramadan later this month.
A group of 24 current and former diplomats, including a U.S. secretary of state and two former defense chiefs, say they want President Trump to suspend some sanctions against Iran, which has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East – more than 60,000 cases.
They say they are not asking Trump to lift the sanctions, just ease them so Iran can get the tools, training, and aid it needs to fight the virus.
Easing the sanctions “could potentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iranians and, by helping to curb the virus’s rapid spread across borders, the lives of its neighbors, Europeans, Americans and others,” the diplomats say. “Reaching across borders to save lives is imperative for our own security and must override political differences among governments,” it adds.
Signatories include the former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, former US defense secretaries William Cohen and Chuck Hagel, and former NATO Secretary General George Robertson.
The Trump administration has resisted earlier calls to ease sanctions on Iran. (VOA)