The United States, on Monday, crossed another landmark when coronavirus cases surged past the 19 million mark. Amid rising infection rates, hospital intensive care units are overflowing across much of California, one of the major virus hotspots in the US.
Californian Governor Gavin Newsom also hinted at extending constraints on social gatherings and business activities for at least three more weeks in the southern parts. He said a formal decision on more stringent measures would be announced on projections by health authorities for the coming weeks.

300,000 coronavirus vaccines have been administered in California, the most populous U.S. state with 40 million residents. Most have been given to medical professionals, he added.

The situation has grown dire in Los Angeles and its neighboring counties along with the farming communities of the San Joaquin Valley to the north. Hospitals have been struggling to deal with an alarming influx of patients while Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area have been put under lockdown, with ICU capacities falling short. These areas may be put under new restrictions early next month.

California’s health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said that officials are bracing for worsening pandemic levels in January, as virus transmissions from Christmas and New Year’s holidays are likely to result in greater infection and death rates. In the past 14 days, California has lost 3,238 lives to coronavirus, averaging 230 daily deaths over the past week. Total coronavirus fatalities in the state have now risen above 24,000.

The United States has recorded more than 19 million infections and 333,000 deaths since the pandemic began. Daily cases are running at more than 180,000 nationwide, with nearly 2,200 Americans dying every 24 hours during the past week.
Over 2 million people have received the first of the prescribed two-dose vaccine regimen, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.


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