HOUSTON, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Department of Defense has activated additional U.S. Army Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces (UAMTF) to assist the state of Texas to combat COVID-19, Governor Greg Abbott announced Monday.
At the governor's request and as part of a whole-of-nation approach, additional task force arrived in Texas to support the Houston region on Monday, said the governor, adding that one UAMTF arrived in Texas's San Antonio earlier this month.
Four UAMTFs, along with a U.S. Navy Acute Care Team and four U.S. Navy Rapid Rural Response teams, will be deployed to additional locations across Texas, Abbott said in a statement. These teams consist of medical and support professionals which are being deployed to support medical needs in hospitals throughout the state.
"Our ongoing partnership with the federal government is crucial to meeting the medical needs of Texans as we combat COVID-19 in our communities," said Abbott.
Meanwhile, Texas' Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo warned on Monday of rising COVID-19 patients. At the end of May, COVID-19 patients made up 15 percent of Harris County ICU beds. Hidalgo said COVID-19 patients now make up 48 percent.
"If it wasn't clear before, it's obvious now that having so much still open, from restaurants, to all size indoor events, to water parks, it is not going to turn this thing around," Hidalgo said.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases continued rising on Monday in the state. According to Texas Health and Human Services, Texas added 5,655 new confirmed cases Monday, which made the total number to 264,313, with 3,235 deaths reported.