Left Menu
Development News Edition

Texas Governor pauses further reopening of economy amid surge in coronavirus cases

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced that the state will "pause" any further reopening of its economy for now as the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalisations surged after a record-high number of infections were reported for three straight days.

PTI | Houston | Updated: 26-06-2020 12:22 IST | Created: 26-06-2020 12:22 IST
Texas Governor pauses further reopening of economy amid surge in coronavirus cases

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced that the state will "pause" any further reopening of its economy for now as the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalisations surged after a record-high number of infections were reported for three straight days. The state reported a record-high number of 5,996 coronavirus cases on Thursday. It's the third day in a row with a record number of new cases. Texas also saw 47 new fatalities, bringing the cumulative number of deaths related to COVID-19 there to 2,296.

Face masks and social distancing are now mandatory for all businesses in Austin, Houston, Dallas through August 15. Governor Abbott announced on Thursday that he is temporarily pausing additional reopening phases as the state's COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations surge.

Abbott said businesses that were allowed to open under Texas' previous reopening phases can continue to operate under designated occupancy levels. They must maintain the minimum standard health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Although critics have blamed the reopening for contributing to the expanding pandemic, Abbott has said repeatedly that rolling it back would be a last resort, a stance he repeated on Thursday.

Businesses that have already reopened can continue to operate, but any further reopening is halted, he said in a statement. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses,” Abbott said.

“This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business," he said. Abbott ordered hospitals in the state's largest metros to stop all elective surgeries in order to save bed capacity for the COVID-19 patients. The order covers facilities in the hard hit Texas counties; Harris, Dallas, Travis, and Bexar.

"These four counties have experienced significant increases in people being hospitalised due to COVID-19 and today's action is a precautionary step to help ensure that the hospitals in these counties continue to have ample supply of available beds to treat the COVID-19 patients," Abbott said in a statement. To quell fears about intensive care unit (ICU) availability, the Texas Hospital Association (THA) released a statement reporting that hospitals throughout the state are prepared for an influx of COVID-19 patients and can offer “substantial” capacity in the case of a surge.

Hospital officials in other parts of Houston are also reporting that intensive care units — for seriously ill patients, like those on ventilators — are near or over capacity. Local leaders have warned that hospitals could get overwhelmed if the number of infections keeps climbing. Hospital leaders are urging the general public to remain vigilant, practice social distancing and wear masks in public.

Marc Boom, MD, president and CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital, said that Houston is not yet at a tipping point and that hospitals in the Texas Medical Center are able to care for patients coming in, but that there is concern about the upward trend in cases. “I think what’s happened is, and we’re watching it around our community, people have completely let their guard down,” Boom said.

Healthcare CEOs of the Texas Medical Center said during a Thursday press conference that a letter that was sent out to the community Wednesday regarding the hospital system's "increasingly stretched" ICU capacity level was "misinterpreted," and stressed the pandemic is not eclipsing hospital capabilities to care for COVID-19-positive and other patients. "We have the ability to go far higher than that in terms of the ICU beds we can utilise for COVID-19 patients," Boom said. "...We have PPE (personal protection equipment) , we have the capability, (and) we have learned enormous amounts about caring for people with COVID-19." Dr. Doug Lawson, St. Luke’s Health CEO, said hospitals are actively planning for anticipated increases over the coming months, which includes bringing in contract nurses and clinicians from other parts of the country to help with surges and doubling critical care capacity.

The Public needs to stay home if at all possible, wear face masks, practice social distancing and rigorous personal hygiene to "please help us help Houston," another doctor said. Texas is one of 29 states where case numbers have been rising.

The state has recorded more than 130,000 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths. More than 4,300 people with the virus are hospitalised across the state, more than double the number at the beginning of June. The US is the hardest-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 2.47 million official cases and over 126,000 deaths.

The resurgence is concentrated largely in the South and West. This week, several states broke their own daily records, with Arizona, California, Texas and Florida among the hardest-hit..



3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Poor on IHR capacity progress in 2019, WHO says Cambodia tops COVID-19 response

Despite being in proximity to Hubei, the original epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia has reported just 226 confirmed cases and zero deaths. After seeing the data, WHO appreciated Cambodias healthcare information system but experts dou...

Loopholes in Healthcare Information System may have failed Singapore COVID-19 model

In the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore was in the limelight for its effective healthcare system and pandemic response plan. However, Singapore has now joined the list of the worst-hit nations and the situation is even worse...


Latest News

Noida: 6 people held, 19 vehicles impounded for flouting COVID-19 curbs

Six people were arrested and 19 vehicles impounded across Noida and Greater Noida on Friday over alleged violation of the curbs imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Gautam Buddh Nagar police said. Also, owners of more than 1,400 vehicles w...

25 more test positive for COVID-19 in Sikkim, total count 854

At least 25 more COVID-19 cases were reported in Sikkim on Friday, taking the tally in the Himalayan state to 854, an official said. Of the 25 new cases, 19 were reported in South Sikkim and six in East Sikkim, Director General-cum-Secretar...

Iran says U.S. envoys all the same - 'they bite off more than they can chew'

A senior Iranian official said on Friday there was no difference between the outgoing and incoming U.S. special envoys for Iran because American officials bite off more than they can chew.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursd...

Pak court constitutes larger three-member bench in Jadhav's case

A top Pakistan court on Friday constituted a larger three-member bench to hear the petition filed by the government to appoint a legal representative for death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav. The decision was taken by the Islamabad High Cou...

Give Feedback