Horrific pictures of thousands of people queuing for COVID-19 tests reveal the city is buckling under pressure caused by the latest spike.
Horrific pictures of thousands of people queuing for COVID-19 tests reveal the city is buckling under pressure caused by the latest spike.

Shocking photos reveal deadly US disaster

Incredible queues have formed at a new COVID-19 testing site in Los Angeles as the US struggles through the deadliest week since the pandemic began.

A staggering 18,400 died from coronavirus across America in the week ending January 3 - the highest weekly death toll recorded during the pandemic's reign of terror so far.

There have been almost 21 million cases and more than 350,000 deaths across the nation since the COVID-19 nightmare, placing the US far ahead of hard-hit developing countries such as India and Brazil.

And Los Angeles - America's second-biggest city - has recently emerged as the latest epicentre of the virus, with LA County recording a crushing 1000 per cent surge in hospital admissions since November.

According to the LA Times, 1000 deaths have been recorded in the county since December 30 alone, with 224 occurring on Tuesday this week and with the area's new average reaching 184 deaths per day, or one ever eight minutes.


It prompted health experts to label the situation as a "human disaster", with 841,000 positive cases located in that one county.

The crisis plaguing the city is now so severe ambulances have reportedly been told not to take patients to overrun hospitals if they are deemed unlikely to survive.

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And photos showing thousands of people queuing for COVID-19 tests at a new facility at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles this week have also reinforced just how widespread the catastrophe has become.

Hospitals are now so overcrowded that on Monday, the LA County Emergency Medical Services Agency ordered ambulance crews to ration oxygen by only giving it to patients with levels below 90 per cent.

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Many medical facilities across the region have also been forced to set up makeshift emergency departments with a recent LA Times investigation revealing the bodies of coronavirus victims were piling up in city morgues and sick patients crammed into crowded hospital corridors, with some even dying in hallways.

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The National Guard has also been called in to move bodies into storage at the LA County Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner.

The LA Public Health agency has grown so concerned about the worsening disaster it has launched a Twitter campaign warning that "every 10 minutes someone dies of COVID-19 in LA County", urging people to do their bit to help stop the spread as the city emerges as the new epicentre of the virus in the US.

But despite the fresh horror facing the country, outgoing President Donald Trump has downplayed the virus, posting on Twitter this week that the number of cases and deaths in the country were "far exaggerated" and "fake news".

The tweet prompted Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to hit back, telling This Week the crisis was all too real.

"The deaths are real deaths," he said, adding overrun hospitals were "not fake".

The US is also anxiously bracing for a further spike in cases as a result of the recent Christmas and New Year holiday period, with experts expecting numbers to climb as family and friends gathered indoors to escape the harsh winter weather.

Dr Fauci told the US ABC on Sunday that things would almost certainly get worse before they would start to get better.

"It could and likely will get worse in the next couple of weeks, or at least maintain this very terribly high level of infections and deaths that we're seeing," he said.

It was a sentiment echoed by Los Angeles' mayor Eric Garcetti, who told CBS he feared the city's toll would climb far higher as the impending vaccine rollout caused people to relax when it came to social distancing and other health precautions.

"This is a virus that preys off of our weakness, preys off of our exhaustion," he said.


Originally published as Shocking photos reveal deadly US disaster

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