Coronavirus cases in Florida in the US have now surpassed 100,000, part of an alarming surge across the South and West as states reopen for business and many Americans resist wearing masks or keeping their distance from others.
The disturbing signs in the Sunshine State as well as places like Arizona, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina – along with countries such as Brazil, India and Pakistan – are raising fears that the progress won after months of lockdowns is slipping away.
“It is snowballing. We will most certainly see more people die as a result of this spike,” said Dr. Marc Boom, CEO and president of Houston Methodist Hospital, noting that the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions has tripled since Memorial Day to more than 1,400 across eight hospital systems in the Houston metropolitan area.
He predicted that in three weeks hospitals could be overwhelmed, and he pleaded with people to cover their faces and practise social distancing.