Business Standard

Coronavirus pandemic may hit rural America 'harder'


The coronavirus pandemic is expected to hit rural regions in the United States harder as these areas do not have full-time doctors and are not connected by roads.
There are at least 135,856 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health's tally. Though the highest number of cases in New York, there are also significant clusters of Covid-19 in rural areas in the Midwest and South, including Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina, Vox reported.
Elise Pletnikoff, a family physician and the medical director of the Kodiak Area Native Association, said: "Our capacity will be the limiting factor, meaning not just equipment, but also the staff." Pletnikoff said when Covid-19 cases surge, "we're worried about how busy everyone will be."
On Friday, Alaska reported 85 cases and its first Covid-19-related death. According to experts, 40-70 per cent of the state's 737500 population will contract coronavirus.
Based on initial reports, 20 per cent, or 59,000 people, will need hospital care. Alaska only has 1,500 general hospital beds.The delay in transmission may be longer in some places than others. Data from Johns Hopkins University suggests that rural areas with popular tourist destinations -- like Blaine County, Idaho, home to Sun Valley -- actually already have the highest rates of cases outside of New York City and its surrounding areas.

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First Published: Mar 30 2020 | 5:45 AM IST

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