El Paso, Texas, a city devastated by covid-19

CORRECTION: Correct in paragraph 16, the victim of covid-19 is a nurse and not a nurse as written by mistake /// El Paso, United States, Nov 19 2020 (AFP) – Dressed in striped uniforms, protected by masks, gloves and glasses, the inmates of an El Paso jail collaborate with officials at the local morgue, overwhelmed by the influx of corpses. This American city is succumbing to an avalanche of coronavirus cases, with detainees receiving two dollars an hour for transferring the bodies to half a dozen refrigerated trailers installed outside the El Paso forensic office, after the morgue in this state town of Texas will run out of space. “If there are no personnel, no one to help, and there are volunteers, even if they are detainees, then that is the only option we have left,” Ricardo Samaniego, a senior citizen, told a local television channel. El Paso County official In two months, the number of COVID-19 cases increased by 242% in the county. By Wednesday, the total had reached more than 77,000 and deaths to 804. This West Texas city is now a focus of the epidemic in the United States. More than 19% of covid-19 tests are positive in El Paso, above the state average of 11%, 1% more than the critical threshold of 10% set by Republican Governor Greg Abbott . Last week Texas became the first state in the country to exceed one million positive tests for coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. – The Last Sacraments, now via Zoom – Tommy Zavala lost his father Tomás last week due to covid-19. Tomás was 82 years old and had respiratory problems. He and his partner, Guadalupe, had abandoned all social activities months ago, they no longer saw their granddaughter and only left the house to do the shopping or go to the doctor. text-align: left; “The doctor told me: ‘your father had to be intubated, he is unconscious’. I asked her: ‘But how, if yesterday she was fine? “‘, Remembers Tommy, 53, on the verge of tears. Every day Guadalupe watched the university hospital in El Paso, where her husband was hospitalized, from his home, facing the building. But he was never able to visit it. The Zavalas managed to send a priest to the hospital room to perform the last sacraments for Tomás, which they were able to witness via Zoom. They still don’t know when they will be able to collect his body or organize a funeral. Tommy Zavala himself contracted the virus in October after his wife Erica showed symptoms when she returned from vacation in a rented house with some friends. Erica Salas, 41, who works for a mutual and describes herself as “very sociable “, he became aware of the seriousness of the pandemic in recent times. At first he thought that the virus only affected the elderly or with previous health problems, but he had a” revelation “when a nurse friend died of covid -19 at the age of 39, then she contracted the virus herself. Today, he no longer just obeys local restrictions, he “takes precautions” and no longer goes to bars and restaurants, even if they have the right to stay open. “I survived, but I am afraid for others,” he explains. – Without confinement – For nurse Lizette Torres, from Del Sol Medical Center, in El Paso “stricter restrictions” must be implemented. Otherwise, “the health system will not be able to handle the influx of patients.” His union organized a honking rally through the city center Monday night to urge residents not to go out. For nearly an hour they marched in cars displaying “Stay Home” and “Support the Nurses.” “We should have imposed a total lockdown,” said Torres, who says the nurses are “anxious” and “worried.” El Paso hospitals house 1,052 covid-19 patients, 49% of their total capacity. And there are 46 beds available in the region’s intensive care units. Ricardo Samaniego ordered the closure of nonessential businesses on October 29, an action that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and a group of successful restaurant owners immediately challenged, reversing the decree. And Governor Greg Abbott, who supports President Donald Trump and has played down the pandemic many times, said: “We will not have a new lockdown in the state of Texas.” jbn / iba / cn / dg / gma —————————————– ——————–

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