Austin rang its emergency alarm on Saturday as the total number of ICU beds reduced to single digits. The emergency alert system was used to inform people about the dire pandemic situation in the state. 

As per stealth data, the Austin area is equipped with merely 6 ICU beds and 313 ventilator, with a population of approximately 2.4 million. 

"The situation is critical," Public Health Medical Director Desmar Walkes said in a statement on Saturday. He further warned of a "catastrophe". "Our hospitals are severely stressed and there is little we can do to alleviate their burden with the surging cases,” he continued. 

This came after the city entered the stage 5 risk level because of the rampant spread of the Delta variant, according to the city's health department, following a rise of over 600% in the seven-day moving average for new hospital admissions. The number of patients in ICU rose by 570%. 

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"Hospital bed availability and critical care is extremely limited in our hospital systems," Walkes said, urging people to "stave off disaster”.The nationwide jump in COVID cases has reached to over 100,000 a day. Despite rapid vaccination, the cases continue to rise, with average deaths doubling up in the last one month. 

While vaccinated people are catching the virus, mostly the unvaccinated are getting hospitalised. "No one would be in my ICU (if everyone was vaccinated)," pulmonary critical care specialist at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, Dr. John David Hinze, told Austonia. "This is an overwhelming surge and we're right at capacity in our ICU."

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"It clearly has taken a very bad turn," Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to US President Joe Biden, said in a Bloomberg Quicktake interview. He further singled out Texas and Florida for being behind 40% of total infections in the US.