ver 15.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual number is believed to be too high due to shortages tests, too many unreported cases, and allegations that some governments are hiding or underestimating the magnitude of their national outbreaks.
The United States is now the most affected country, with more than four million cases involving at least 144,308 people.
FEMA’s internal memorandum received by ABC News contains details of the new COVID-19 issues across the U.S.
In Arizona, COVID-19 patients are being transferred to New Mexico hospitals due to staff shortages and a lack of beds, according to a memo.
In Georgia, where a total of a one-day trial was last week, 85% of private care beds are used throughout the country, the memo said.
In Arkansas, the Hot Springs area reported a 198.1% increase in new cases this past week, with 145 new cases, the memo said. Many new cases are being held in the Ouachita River unit prison where there are more cases between staff and inmates.
While the U.S. continues to be the nation with the highest rates of homicide and manslaughter, some countries have “managed to control the virus,” said Dr. Maria VanKerkhove, a leading World Health Organization expert at COVID-19.
“We are seeing signs of hope. In some countries, they have been able to control the virus. The virus is marketable,” VanKerkhove told “Good Morning America” on Friday. “Even the most frustrated countries right now can change things.”
It doesn’t matter if the country is rich or poor, urban or rural, VanKerkhove said control is due to “exclusion, identification, patient care.”
“This is not the only response from the health sector. This is the whole government’s approach – which means all sectors need to be involved,” he said.
VanKerkhove also emphasized the importance of “equipping individuals to know what they can do to protect themselves from infection” – such as community identification, hand washing, wearing a mask and staying awake.
The deadly impact of the novel coronavirus continues to show no signs of slowing down in the U.S. last week, with mortality rates rising by 18.7%, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency Memo obtained by ABC News. The death toll from the American COVID-19, as of Friday morning, now stands at 144,305.
The U.S. reported 1,039 young people dying of coronavirus on Thursday, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
A large part of the new deaths are in the south, where the number of cases and hospitalizations has been increasing for weeks. An astonishing number of cases also mean that hospital beds are in short supply in several provinces and cities.
In Alabama, the state sees many health care facilities reaching a point where the number of staff is very low, according to a FEMA memo. COVID-19 patients in Arizona are being transferred to New Mexico due to a lack of beds.
Other hospitals in Louisiana are also state-of-the-art. Centers in Lake Charles and Lafayette refer patients to New Orleans for treatment, the memo said. And in Texas, Hidalgo County for weeks has warned its hospitals that they are in good condition. The city’s crematorium, according to a FEMA memo, has a two-week waiting list. Now we rely on refrigerator trucks.
At the same time, Georgia and Kentucky saw their major daily cases in a week that saw California (157), Florida (173), and Texas (197) all reported death dates.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention renewed its U.S. death toll on Thursday, saying it now expects 175,000 deaths in August. 15.