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“The numbers are unprecedented,” Dr. Michael deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California. He spoke to ABC about the hike in the number of deaths by suicide, and explained that he has seen a “year’s worth of suicides” in the last four weeks alone.

Dr DeBoisblanc said he thinks California authorities should lift the lockdown and allow people to return to their normal activities.

“Personally, I think it’s time,” he said. “I think, originally, this was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients.

“We have the current resources to do that, and our other community health is suffering.”

Kacey Hansen, a trauma centre nurse at John Muir Medical Center, has expressed her concern about not only the increase in number of suicide attempts, but also the hospital’s capacity.

Ms Hansen said: “What I have seen recently, I have never seen before.

”I have never seen so much intentional injury.”

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom implemented the stay-at-home orders on March 19.

Businesses across the state have started flouting the decree, while hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets to protest the measures.

The demonstrators argue that the stay-at-home decree was imposed to halt the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve”, which Gov Newsom said was achieved in mid-April.

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Suicide has become a more prominent issue since the measures were imposed, causing a record number of job losses and subsequent stress and worry.

By late March, there had been more deaths in just one Tennessee county from suicide than in the entire state directly from Covid-19.

A report published in early May showed that the pandemic could lead to at least 75,000 deaths directly caused by anxiety from the virus, job losses, and addiction to alcohol and drugs.

A separate research conducted by Just Facts around the same time displayed a broad spectrum of scientific figures showing that stress is one of the deadliest health issues in the world.

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According to one estimate the lockdown restrictions will eradicate seven times as many years of human life than stringent measures can save.

Earlier this week, more than 600 doctors sent a letter to President Donald Trump advising him to do what he can to ensure the stay-at-home decrees are lifted.

In the missive, they referred to the extended lockdowns as a “mass casualty incident”.

During his latest briefing Trump declared churches, mosques and synagogues “essential services”.

He threatened to overrule governors who refuse to allow places of worship to reopen.

He said: “Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship.

“It’s not right. So I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.”

Trump added: “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now.

“For this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.

“In America we need more prayer, not less.”

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