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Florida becoming new Covid epicentre in US

Florida becoming new Covid epicentre in US
August 03
16:03 2021

MIAMI: The US state of Florida is becoming the new epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country as new cases have been surging recently, according to media reports.

On July 30, the Sunshine State recorded 21,683 new Covid-19 cases, breaking its previous one-day record of 19,100 new infections which was set in early January, Xinhua news agency quoted the Forbes report as saying on Monday. According to the weekly report from the state’s health department, Florida reported 110,477 new cases from July 23 to 29, which was about a 50 per cent increase from the 73,196 cases in the week before.

Since the onset of the pandemic early last year, Florida has so far reported a total of 2,636,066 confirmed coronavirus cases and 39,079 deaths. On Sunday, the state broke its record for coronavirus hospitalisations, USA Today reported. More than 10,200 people in Florida are currently hospitalised with confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to data reported to the US Department of Health & Human Services.

The previous record of 10,170 hospitalizations was from July 23, 2020, more than a half-year before vaccinations started becoming widespread, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

Florida leads the nation in per capita hospitalizations for Covid-19. However, Florida is “not taking all the steps needed to control the spread of the virus”, said the Forbes report, noting that the state government is only reporting new cases on a weekly basis rather than daily. Meanwhile, the state is not urging its people to take necessary measures such as keeping social distance and wearing masks.

On July 31, Governor Ron DeSantis even asked the health and education department to “protect parents’ freedom to choose whether their children wear masks in schools”.

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