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“There are so many deaths from covid-19 and the accumulation of corpses is so high that air restrictions have been lifted in crematoria, Now much more can be cremated, a sign of how bad the situation is”, says in an interview with the epidemiologist and representative of the Federation of American Scientists, Eric Feigl-Ding.
The truth is that More than 4,000 deaths of the 14,000 total deaths from covid-19 in Los Angeles County during the pandemic have been reported since January 1, that is, in the last three weeks.
MORE THAN DOUBLE THE DEATHS
Faced with this situation, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the entity in charge of controlling air quality in the region, decided to lift the cremation limits “to protect public health and respond to the current emergency”.
“The current death rate is more than double that of the years before the pandemic, leading to hospitals, funeral homes and crematoriums exceeding capacity and unable to process backlogged cases,” justifies the SCAQMD in a statement sent to Globe Live Media.
In fact, the chance of a person hospitalized for COVID-19 dying in Los Angeles County has doubled in recent months, according to an analysis released this week by the county’s Department of Health Services.
Specifically, the likelihood of someone dying from the disease while hospitalized increased from about 1 in 8 in September and October to about 1 in 4 since early November, according to that study.
And that data has grown in recent weeks, since at the beginning of November there were less than 20 deaths a day from covid-19 in the county, while in the last seven days more than 200 daily deaths have been registered, data indicate from the newspaper Los Angeles Times.
CRITICAL SITUATION IN HOSPITALS
One of the main reasons for the situation facing Los Angeles now, explains epidemiologist Feigl-Ding, is that hospitalizations are at a “critical” point and the beds in the Intensive Care Units “are completely full.”
“Beds are very hard to find across the country, but especially in Southern California, and especially in Los Angeles,” highlights the expert.
At the national level, Feigl-Ding considers that the US is “in the worst possible scenario”, with some 4,000 deaths a day.
The United States registers more than 400,000 deaths and 24 million infections, according to the Johns Hopkins University count.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?
The context of the pandemic could improve in the face of the summer, estimates from Feigl-Ding advance, who says he feels “hopeful” that by then the supply of vaccines “will be much more available, much easier to obtain.”
His projections indicate that in the summer there will be about 115 million people vaccinated in the country, calculations similar to those of the new president of the United States, Joe Biden, who promised he would vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days at the helm of the country.
“President Biden has many tough tasks ahead of him to reverse this pandemic: limiting international travel, adding testing and quarantine requirements, dealing with vaccination delays, and finding ways to mobilize it faster,” lists the expert.