Coronavirus in America a "high speed train": Pacific expert

A California-based endocrinologist, Dr. Raynald Samoa, has likened the acceleration of coronavirus cases to a “high-speed train that will derail by late December unless we hit the brakes.”

Dr. Samoa, who is based in Los Angeles, is a clinical advisor to the U.S. National Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response Team. 

The United States recorded an increase in cases of 151,000 on Monday, to reach a total of 13.4 million infections. 

 Dr. Samoa said the sudden rise of COVID-19 cases is “very concerning.”

“You cannot stock-pile these personnel. There is no way that we have the health care employment force to deal with [coronavirus cases] for a long time,” he said.

He argues that the need to protect the country’s frontline hospital force has forced the state of California to enforce some of the strictest lockdown conditions in the nation. 

Starting Tuesday, public and private gatherings with individuals not in one’s household are banned. 

The only exceptions include outdoor worship services and protests. 

Essential retail will be limited to 35 percent occupancy; non-essential retail and indoor malls at 20 percent occupancy; and personal care services at 20 percent occupancy.

Residents, meanwhile are being urged to stay at home as much as possible. 

Masks are required when traveling outside.

Early this month, Dr. Samoa told Radio New Zealand that the increase in COVID-19 cases around the country is being reflected especially within the Pacific and native Hawaiian communities.

In an 11 November Radio New Zealand report he said the situation remains grim for Pacific Islanders.

“I think what’s going on in the Pacific communities is a reflection of what’s going in the general population as well. The numbers have increased and we are seeing that reflected as well in the Pacific communities,” Dr. Samoa said.

“There’s an increase in cases… and the number of deaths are increasing as well during this time.”



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