People suspected of having COVID-19 in Italy’s third largest city, Naples, were treated with oxygen in their cars after a nearby hospital had reached its maximum capacity.
Lines of cars formed in front of Cotugno hospital, fearing that there might not be enough doctors available to treat the patients. While a second wave of the virus is sweeping across Europe, Italy has recorded over 990,000 cases and over 42,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Antonio Abenante, a local resident in the regional capital of Campania, told Sky News that he was unable to obtain information about his father’s condition. He said: “Today my father did not answer my phone call and I am worried. We called a doctor and he told us that all the doctors on the ward were in isolation because they had received COVID-19 and that this was the doctor on duty and he did not know anything.
Filippo Anelli, the leader of the National Association of Doctors, warned that if the number of cases continues to grow as fast as it has been, there will soon not be enough doctors.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has imposed a nationwide ban in England after warning that the NHS could be overwhelmed in the first week of December if nothing is done. Johnson warned of a mortality summit far greater than the one the country experienced in April.
Announcing the new nationwide lockdown, he said: “Even in the Southwest, where the incidence was and still is so low, it is now clear that, according to current forecasts, hospital capacity will be exhausted in a few weeks’ time if we don’t act.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., hospital admissions have reached their highest level since the beginning of the pandemic, and the number of hospital admissions has risen to over 60,000, surpassing the previous record of 59,940, which was reached on April 15 according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has reported that the number of beds needed across the country is expected to almost double by the end of December, with demand expected to reach approximately 120,423 beds by December 27.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading expert on infectious diseases, said that a vaccine against the virus could be made available to the most vulnerable groups by the end of the year.
“They will dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, but I believe, given the impressive nature of the data, that it should go smoothly, that by December we will be able to have doses available for people who are being given the highest priority to get it first,” Fauci told MSNBC.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said on Monday that he and his German partner BioNTech have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is 90 percent effective, based on early test results that have yet to be fully approved by independent researchers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).