December 10, 2023

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Coronavirus: Number of Louisiana patients on ventilators doubles in five days

also saw a one-day surge in more than 1,200 confirmed cases of Covid-19, a 30 per cent increase that brings the statewide total to more than 5,200.

At least 239 people have died, including 54 newly reported deaths.

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Governor John Bel Edwards said that the increase has “put us firmly on the path to exceeding capacity to deliver healthcare” as the state’s hospital systems brace for a surge in patients and dwindling resources to treat them. The spike in cases may be attributed to a “lag” in testing that is now beginning to catch up.

He told reporters on Tuesday: “There is no community that is free of the virus and free of the disease Covid-19.”

The governor has extended a statewide stay-at-home order through at least 30 April.

At the Ernest N Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, which has seen a majority of the cases, the state has set up 1,000 hospital beds to be available 5 April. Another 1,000 beds will be available at the end of the month. Those beds will be used for patients moved from hospital care to help free up hospital beds and ventilators.

The state also has received 292 ventilators from private vendors as well as 150 from the national stockpile. In his request to Donald Trump, the governor asked for 1,200 ventilators.

Ventilators from the federal government could buy the state “a day [or] maybe two if we’re lucky” based on the anticipated increase in hospitalisations, he said.

New Orleans could run out of ventilator capacity by 4 April.

Governor Edwards said: “We have yet to see any evidence we are flattening the curve. … Compliance has to improve. We need to see better results.”

On Tuesday, confirmed cases in the US reached 175,000, and the nationwide death toll reached at least 3,415, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US death toll has now eclipsed China, the university’s coronavirus centre reported.