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15 March 2020 - 09:27
News ID: 449614
The former Surgeon General of the United States has warned that America’s top medical centers are suffering from a severe shortage of coronavirus testing supplies and are being forced to turn away potential patients amid the fast-spreading pandemic.

RNA - Vivek Murthy, who served in the administration of former President Barack Obama, made the warning during an interview with CNN on Friday. The Surgeon General is the leading US government spokesperson on matters of public health

“I spoke to a number of doctors yesterday from one of top medical institutions in our country and in the world, a hospital which has saved many, many lives, people from all over the world come here for care, and what those doctors told me is that they are seeing many people who are coming in with coronavirus-like symptoms….they want to test them for the coronavirus but they can’t because they’re limited by the capacity that the state’s lab has and what they’re having to do is  ration tests,” Murthy said.

“The can only now give test to the people who are most sick and so they’re having to turn people away who may have the coronavirus and send them back to their homes and into the community,” he said.

“They don’t like doing this, they know this is not the best practice, but they’re also running out of supplies; they’re having to share masks with each other, share masks after using them with a patient instead of throwing them away and getting a new one because they don’t have enough masks,” he added.

“This is happening in the one of the top institutions in this country and I guarantee you it’s happening in many other institutions.”

US health experts have sharply rebuked President Donald Trump’s administration for downplaying the crisis and lagging behind in testing efforts.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday declared the coronovirus, also known as COVID-19, a pandemic.

Trump declares Sunday a National Day of Prayer amid coronavirus crisis

Sick people across the US say they are being denied the coronavirus test, as American states scramble to slow the spread of COVID-19 and stop hospitals from being overwhelmed with a surge in critically ill patients.

Many who fear they have the virus have faced one obstacle after another as they try to get tested, according to The New York Times, citing interviews with dozens of people across the country.

Trump said Friday he is declaring Sunday a National Day of Prayer, shortly after declaring a state of emergency to combat the growing crisis.

Trump made the announcement in a Twitter message, claiming that the US has “looked to God for protection” throughout its history.

"It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these," Trump tweeted.

"No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!" Trump added.

Trump declared a national emergency earlier in the day, freeing up $50 billion in federal aid to fight the disease.

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