Wed, 12 Aug 2020

HOUSTON, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. state of Texas exceeded 200,000 on Monday as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner warned hospitals could be overwhelmed due to continued growth of hospitalizations.

According to the Texas Health and Human Services, as of Monday, there are 200,557 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the state, an increase of 5,318 from Sunday. The death toll reached 2,655.

During a daily news conference on Monday, Turner said hospitals are seeing a continuous increase of coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

He also warned that Houston hospitals could be overwhelmed in about two weeks if the rapid spread of the virus is not under control.

Meanwhile, Turner called for the Texas Republican executive committee to change its in-person convention scheduled later this month into a virtual one.

If the in-person convention is not cancelled, some health guidelines must be followed, said Turner. If the measures are not strictly adhered to, Turner said health inspectors at the event could shut it down.

"I am asking sponsors to urge the SREC (State Republican Executive Committee) to hold a virtual convention," said Turner. "Today, I am sending the SREC a letter with conditions they must adhere to in order to hold the convention."

As nearly 1,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in Houston on Monday, experts warned that the fourth largest city in the United States could become a new epicenter of the pandemic.

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