Inside LA’s Covid crisis | Australia news

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  • This episode first aired on Today in Focus, the Guardian’s global daily news podcast

Southern California is by many measures battling the worst Covid catastrophe in the US. In Los Angeles, one person is contracting Covid every six seconds, a person is dying every eight minutes and one in 17 residents may now be infectious. Hospitals are so overrun that officials have directed ambulances not to transport patients who have little chance of survival, and some crews are waiting eight hours to offload patients.

Sam Levin, a correspondent for Guardian US, talks to Rachel Humphreys about the crisis engulfing Los Angeles county, telling her about his visit to Martin Luther King Jr community hospital in south Los Angeles. Only 4% of its patients have private health insurance, and because doctors are reimbursed at low rates for care subsidised by the government, south LA has an overall shortage of 1,200 doctors. And Covid is now pushing the hospital to breaking point. Levin looks at how Covid has provided a grim illustration of how LA’s longstanding housing crisis is a public health catastrophe – the region is a leader in overcrowded housing, which has further spread the virus among vulnerable populations.

But Levin also has good news on a story that he and the podcast covered last year. At the end of last month, Bounchan Keola, the incarcerated firefighter who California sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation, was freed after 22 years and reunited with his family. Levin called them to see how they are getting on

A nurse dons personal protective equipment in a Covid-19 intensive care unit at Martin Luther King Jr community hospital in south Los Angeles

Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

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Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Inside LA’s Covid crisis | Australia news

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