The Indian Ministry of Health on Friday said that 97,894 cases of coronavirus were reported in a single day on September 17, surpassing India’s previous daily record.
Dr Christopher Murray, director of the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday that hospitals were drowning as the number of coronavirus cases continued to rise.
“This week we saw that our numbers, in January, 18 months in December, had real pressure on their ICUs – maybe actually high capacity. It’s a real opportunity on the horizon,” Murray said.
Murray said the number of hospitals is the best measure to tell how the country is reeling from the coronavirus epidemic. “They are a leading indicator before death.”
But Murray said the U.S. public was not receiving the data it needed to understand which hospitals were under severe pressure, and urged the government to release more information.
“The fall / winter surge will lead to a daily number of deaths, three times higher than in mid-January,” the IHME said in its latest forecast.
CNN medical analyst Dr Jonathan Rainer, a professor at George Washington University, told CNN’s Dan Lemon on Friday that the rise in cases was “terrible” and that the worst had yet to come.
“In a day or two, we’ll top the six digits in a day. We see 100,000 cases a day. Now, that sounds bad, but two weeks later, you know, we’re starting to see 2,000 people dying a day in this country,” he said.
The worst case scenario could be the loss of 2,000 to 2,500 patients a day, but the power of the virus lies with Americans, Rainer said.
“We need to mask and, in some places, think about smart closures,” he said.
“Europe is shutting down – this is a very clever thing to do when the virus is not under control. How did we get control with the first wave. So, here’s a choice for the country: if you do not want to shut up, then do the mask up. If dangerous – let’s mask.
Another health expert said Friday that the test needed to be speeded up.
“Today, one person is being diagnosed with coronavirus every second,” said Dr Lena Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner. “Every two minutes an American coronavirus dies, and that number is growing.”
Wen, an emergency medicine doctor, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that she was very concerned about the test’s pass rate. In some states, she said, one in two people tested positive.
“That means we haven’t done enough tests and every person who tests positivity is a canary in a coal mine,” she said. “There are still so many, dozens of other cases, we could not detect, and the increase will increase in the coming weeks.”