Southern California crisis: hospitals are full, oxygen for patients is scarce. Paramedics are no longer allowed to bring certain patients to clinics.
In southern California, the corona emergency has worsened. Rescue workers in the Los Angeles District are now instructed not to bring certain patients with a low chance of survival to clinics. If, for example, resuscitation on site is unsuccessful in the event of a cardiac arrest, the patients should “not be transported,” said an order from the emergency services on Monday (local time).
Oxygen is also scarce and should be rationed. According to the instructions, the administration of oxygen should be limited to emergency patients with low blood oxygen saturation of less than 90 percent. With a view to the increasing number of infections and deaths in the Los Angeles area, the district politician Hilda Solis spoke of a “human catastrophe”. She warned of even worse consequences if the applicable lockdown requirements were not followed.
“The worst is almost certainly still ahead of us”
Around ten million people live in the Los Angeles district, which also includes the metropolis of the same name on the west coast. On Tuesday alone, over 13,000 newly confirmed corona infections and 224 deaths in connection with such an infection were recorded. The health department announced that the number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic has exceeded 11,000. Health expert Barbara Ferrer spoke of a “terrible milestone”.
The authority warned of a further increase in the number of cases and patients as a result of the trips and family gatherings on the holidays. “The worst is almost certainly still ahead of us,” said the head of the health department, Christina Ghaly. The hospitals would be flooded with Covid-19 patients. In many places, ambulances would have to wait hours before patients could be admitted. Ghaly urged people to only go to hospitals in absolute emergencies.
Stricter exit restrictions in California
Because of the acute corona situation in Los Angeles, the presentation of the Grammy Music Awards has now been postponed from the end of January to mid-March. According to the Recording Academy on Tuesday, the Los Angeles crisis with overcrowded hospitals contributed to this decision. The Grammys are among the most coveted music awards in the world. The 63rd award ceremony is now planned for March 14th.
Since mid-December, most districts in California have tightened exit restrictions and other requirements. Contact with other households should be avoided. Many non-essential businesses are closed, including hairdressers and bars. Restaurants are only allowed to offer pick-up food.
California is the most populous US state with around 40 million inhabitants. In total, more than 2.4 million infections with the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen have been detected there since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 27,000 people have died from coronavirus infection, according to the governor’s office on Tuesday.