With more than 2000 patients hospitalised and hundreds in ICUs, “Miami is now the epicentre of the pandemic,” one infectious disease expert has said.
With more than 2000 patients hospitalised and hundreds in ICUs, "Miami is now the epicentre of the pandemic," one infectious disease expert has said, comparing the South Florida metropolitan area to the city where the pandemic originated.
"What we were seeing in Wuhan - six months ago, five months ago - now we are there," Lilian Abbo, with the Jackson Health System said during a press conference hosted by the Miami-Dade County mayor.
The Chinese city of Wuhan, the original epicentre of the coronavirus crisis, went into a 76-day lockdown in late January after a deadly outbreak infected and killed thousands.
The first known cases of the virus were first detected in the city in December. By mid-April, officials reported more than 50,000 infections.
Miami-Dade County has recorded more than 64,000 infections so far, according to state data.
"We need your help as media communicators to help the community understand that we're just not repeating the same thing over and over just to give you trouble, we really need your help," Abbo said, directing the comments to media.
The plea echoes the requests from some other leaders in the state and across the country who have seen new cases spike in the past weeks as Americans flocked back outside following weeks-long lockdowns.
When states began lifting restrictions, images quickly emerged of pool parties, packed beaches, reopened bars and holiday celebrations where social distancing and face masks were often neglected.
Health officials warned then of what they're now reporting: clusters that are often traced back to Americans who didn't heed to reopening guidelines weeks ago.
More than 3.3 million people have now tested positive nationwide - but the true number of infections could be much higher, experts have said, as at least 40 per cent of those who contract the virus show no symptoms, according to a new estimate by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With no way to control the rapid spread of the virus and with thousands possibly infecting others unknowingly, both local and state officials have been forced to rethink more restrictions and in some cases, possibly a second round of lockdowns.
In Houston, where hospitals are already overwhelmed with patients and hitting ICU capacity, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday he proposed a two-week shutdown to the governor following a surge of cases.
"I do think we are going to need to shut down for a period of time. I am proposing two weeks, or at the very minimum, to return to phase one," Turner said.
"We need to reset, especially in light of the fact that next month, you know, kids, we are talking about returning to school."
In Atlanta, the mayor also tried to revert the city to the first phase of reopening - where residents are ordered to stay at home except for essential trips.
That decision was slammed by Georgia Governor. Brian Kemp who said it was "legally unenforceable."
More than half of US states have now halted or rolled back their reopening plans in hopes of preventing further spread.
The end of the pandemic is nowhere near in sight, the country's leading infectious disease expert said Monday, but that doesn't have to mean a new wave of shutdowns - as long as communities follow the rules.
"You don't necessarily need to shut down again, but pull back a bit. And then, proceed in a very prudent way, observing the guidelines of going from step to step," Dr Anthony Fauci said during a webinar with the Stanford School of Medicine on Monday.
Reported with CNN
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/miami-is-now-the-coronavirus-epicentre-as-cases-surge-one-expert-says/2202e3ce-be5c-4340-80b0-573f81a59671