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US COVID-19 Cases Reach 103,000, Doctors Decry Scarcity of Drugs and Equipment

US COVID-19 Cases Reach 103,000, Doctors Decry Scarcity of Drugs and Equipment
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By Staff, Agencies

Doctors and nurses on the front lines of the US coronavirus crisis pleaded on Friday for more protective gear and equipment to treat waves of patients expected to overwhelm hospitals as the sum of identified infections across the country climbed well past 100,000, with more than 1,600 dead.

Physicians have called particular attention to a desperate need for additional ventilators and machines that help patients breathe and are widely needed for those suffering from COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the highly contagious novel coronavirus.

Hospitals in New York City, New Orleans, Detroit and other virus hot spots have also sounded the alarm about scarcities of drugs, medical supplies and trained staff while the number of confirmed US cases rose by about 18,000 on Friday, the highest jump in a single day, to more than 103,000.

That tally kept the United States as the world leader in the number of known infections, having surpassed China and Italy on Thursday.

“We are scared,” said Dr. Arabia Mollette of Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn. “We’re trying to fight for everyone else’s life, but we fight for our lives as well, because we’re also at the highest risk of exposure.”

The US ranked sixth in death toll among the hardest hit countries, with at least 1,632 lives lost as of Friday night, a record daily increase of 370 according to a Reuters tabulation of official data. Worldwide, confirmed cases rose above 593,000 with 27,198 deaths, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported.