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Dr. Teena Chopra, a Detroit-based infectious disease specialist, warned Wednesday that the Motor City’s high COVID-19 mortality rate is not yet leveling off, despite a suggestion to the contrary by the city’s mayor.
“We are seeing a very high mortality rate and we are still seeing an exponential growth in our cases,” Chopra told “Bill Hemmer Reports“. “We have started more testing inside the hospitals but we haven’t started that much testing in the community.
“We have to have some testing in the community, but we are going to see more cases, more positive cases, because the testing has gone up,” she added. “We need to do more testing in these nursing homes as well so we can find out and break the chain of transmission.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the state of Michigan had reported 20,346 confirmed coronavirus cases and 959 deaths. In the city of Detroit itself, officials confirmed 5,824 cases and 251 deaths.
Chopra told Hemmer that Detroit was especially vulnerable to a viral outbreak because of its “very fragile infrastructure.” While younger and richer residents left the area, she explained, the vulnerable — including the poor, elderly, and less-educated — stayed.
“And now this population, that is a 700,000 population that is left behind and is very vulnerable — we see COVID coming onto them … it’s almost like adding fuel to fire,” she said.
“And we have also seen COVID-19 creeping into the nursing homes,” Chopra continued, “and this is a very, very vulnerable population again given the lack of resources they have, the lack of [personal protective equipment] in the nursing homes and to top it all, the lack of testing.”