The US city of Austin sounded an alarm on Saturday using its emergency alert system to inform residents through text messages, emails and phone calls that with just six intensive care unit beds left in the city, the pandemic has reached a “dire” state, reported Bloomberg. “The situation is critical. Our hospitals are severely stressed and there is little we can do to alleviate their burden with the surging cases,” Public health medical director Desmar Walkes said in a statement. The city has a population of 2.4 million.
Walkes urged residents of Austin to help the administration “stave off disaster”. This warning comes just two days after the capital city of Texas raised its risk level to its highest at stage 5 due to the highly contagious delta variant. Residents were requested to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and stay home, while vaccinated individuals were once again asked to mask up. In the Texan city of Houston, health officials have started to transport patients to states as far as North Carolina due to the sudden surge in cases, reported the Associated Press.
Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci singled out Texas and Florida as the two states contributing the most number of cases to the country’s Covid-tally. “It clearly has taken a very bad turn,” Fauci told Bloomberg earlier this week. New admissions in hospitals jumped to a whopping 600% in Austin last month, while patients in intensive-care units jumped 570%. Currently, 102 patients are on ventilation, marking a huge jump from eight patients in July, reported Bloomberg.