Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appealed for out-of-state help to fight the state’s third wave of COVID-19.
Abbott on Monday directed the Department of State Health Services to use staffing agencies to find additional medical staff from outside Texas.
He also urged the Texas Hospital Association to request that hospitals postpone all elective medical procedures. In addition, the governor ordered an expansion of COVID-19 vaccine availability in underserved communities.
The developments came as Houston’s two county-owned hospitals raised tents to accommodate their COVID-19 patient overflow. Private hospitals in the county already were requiring their staff to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Hospital officials in Houston said last week that area hospitals with beds had insufficient numbers of nurses to serve them.
Abbott is not lifting his emergency order banning local governments from requiring mask use and physical distancing. He said people are able to make their own decisions on protecting their health.
The Dallas school district announced on Monday that it would require students and staff to wear face masks starting Tuesday. The Houston school district already announced a mask mandate for its students and staff later this week if its board approves.
Also Monday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins filed a lawsuit asking a judge to strike down Abbott’s mask mandate ban.
The rolling two-week daily average of new COVID-19 cases in Texas has increased by 165 per cent to 8,533, according to Johns Hopkins University research data.
In Florida, COVID-19 cases have filled so many hospital beds that ambulance services and fire departments are straining to respond to emergencies.
In St. Petersburg, some patients wait inside ambulances for up to an hour before hospitals can admit them — a process that usually takes about 15 minutes, Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton said.
The strain is being felt across Florida, where COVID-19 hospitalizations surpassed the pandemic’s worst previous surge in late July and set a new record of 13,600 on Monday, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
What’s happening in Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of Tuesday, more than 203.5 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported around the world, according to the coronavirus tracker maintained by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.4 million.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia’s most populous state is reporting a new daily high of 356 coronavirus infections. The New South Wales government also reported four more COVID-19 deaths Tuesday.
More than 80 per cent of the state’s 8.2 million people are in lockdown, including the greater Sydney region. The Sydney lockdown began June 26, and hopes are fading that restrictions will be eased as planned on Aug. 28.
In Bangladesh, the government will begin vaccinating Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, a town on the country’s southeast coast, from Tuesday in a walk-in mass inoculation drive.
About 48,000 Rohingyas, aged 55 and above and registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will be vaccinated between Tuesday and Thursday with the help of the UN agencies, officials said.
In Europe, health officials in Britain say more than three-quarters of adults in the U.K. have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, a milestone that Prime Minister Boris Johnson described as a “huge national achievement.”
Latest figures from the Department of Health and Social Care on Tuesday showed that 39.7 million people have now had two doses. More than 47 million, or 89 per cent of the adult population, have received a first dose.
The U.K. has seen its average number of daily confirmed cases fall in recent weeks. A further 25,161 cases were reported on Monday. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Tuesday that the vaccine rollout has created a “wall of defence” that’s “massively reduced” hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.
Germany is ending free COVID-19 testing in an effort to encourage more people to get vaccinated. The government will also require people to be either vaccinated, test negative or have a recovery certificate to enter indoor restaurants, take part in religious ceremonies and take part in indoor sport.
Germany had made the tests free for all in March to help make a gradual return to normal life possible after months of lockdown. Although around 55 per cent of Germans are fully vaccinated, the pace of inoculations has slowed.
In the Middle East, Iraqi health authorities have organized a COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the holy city of Kerbala ahead of the upcoming annual religious ritual of Ashura.
The city’s health department launched the campaign that targeted owners of restaurants and its employees who interact with visitors as crowds of Muslim Shias from different countries gather.
In Africa, Nigeria has announced it’s postponing the rollout of its second batch of COVID-19 vaccine due to “unforeseen circumstances,” a setback for Africa’s most populous nation as it faces a major surge in confirmed cases. The rollout was scheduled for Tuesday. Less than two per cent of the country’s 200 million citizens have been vaccinated.
Have questions about this story? We’re answering as many as we can in the comments.
View original article here Source