Texas capital city Austin on Saturday, 7 August, raised the alarm over the dire situation of the COVID-19 outbreak in the region, as the ICU bed availability in the city dwindled to a single digit.
As the city's hospitals find themselves strained amid an escalating surge in coronavirus cases due to the prevalence of the highly infectious Delta variant, emergency alert notifications were sent to the citizens through text messages, phone calls and emails.
"The situation is critical," Public Health Medical Director Desmar Walkes said in a statement on Saturday, warning of a catastrophe, Bloomberg reported.
Austin Public Health's city-wide warning came days after the Austin's health department announced a stage 5 alert – the highest of APH's COVID-19 based guidelines – encouraging residents to stay home, wear masks and get vaccinated, Austonia reported.
New hospital admissions in Austin have gone up by more than 600 percent in the past month, while the number of patients admitted to ICUs has risen by 570 percent, Bloomberg reported.
The United States is witnessing a nationwide spike in cases – the biggest such surge since the country's coronavirus cases reached their zenith in winter last year.
The US surpassed 1,00,000 fresh infections on Saturday. The rise has been attributed to low vaccination rates in the southern part of the country, and the greater transmissibility of the widely prevalent Delta variant.
(With inputs from Bloomberg and Austonia)