US sees record hospitalisations due to COVID as vaccinations lag

Washington, Jan 7 (Agency) A record number of American people were hospitalised with COVID-19 on Wednesday than at any time since the pandemic began, as total coronavirus infections crossed the 21 million mark, even as the number of deaths soared across much of the United States and the vaccination effort lagged. US COVID-19 hospitalisations reached a record 131,215 on Wednesday, according to a tally by The COVID Tracking Project, while 3,664 people died on Tuesday according to Johns Hopkins University, one of the highest single-day death tolls of the pandemic, Al Jazeera reported.

Total US COVID-19 cases exceeded 21 million on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University and with many healthcare systems approaching breaking point. Pressure is mounting on the state and local officials to speed up the distribution of the two authorised vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The lack of a federal blueprint for the crucial final step of getting the vaccines to tens of millions of people has left state and local officials in charge of the monumental effort, creating a patchwork of different plans across the US. The Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday said the CDC would be providing $22 billion in funding to states, territories and cities across the country to support testing, contact tracing and containment. Of that, $3 billion will go to vaccination under the CDC’s.