Health and Science

El Paso hospitals see patients with both the coronavirus and the flu

Key Points
  •  Dr. Emilio Gonzalez-Ayala told Shepard Smith, "There is no bed available in any hospital in El Paso and there hasn’t been for at least the last couple of weeks."
  • In El Paso, they’ve brought in six freezer trucks to hold dead Covid-19 victims, and four more are expected by the end of the week because the morgues cannot hold the dead.
  • Dr. Gonzalez-Ayala is seeing patients with both the coronavirus and the flu.
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No hospital beds available in El Paso for the past couple weeks: Dr. Emilio Gonzalez-Ayala

El Paso, Texas pulmonologist Dr. Emilio Gonzalez-Ayala told CNBC that the hospital infrastructure in El Paso "hasn't and won't for the foreseeable future" be able to withstand the coronavirus surge that has stricken his community. 

"For the next few weeks that come ahead, I don't see how we can continue to afford the impact that we're seeing on our ERs," Gonzalez-Ayala said in a Tuesday evening interview on "The News with Shepard Smith". "There is no bed available in any hospital in El Paso and there hasn't been for at least the last couple of weeks."

The average number of new coronavirus cases each day are up 152% from a month ago with 72,000 more cases per day on average than this time last month, according to Johns Hopkins University and the COVID Tracking Project. The number of coronavirus patients in ICUs is at a six-month high and the country is rapidly approaching 1,000 deaths per day. 

More than 10% of all the cases in the country are in Texas. In El Paso, they've brought in six freezer trucks to hold dead Covid-19 victims, and four more are expected by the end of the week because the morgues cannot hold the dead. There are more than 27,000 active cases reported in El Paso, five times the number from just a month ago. Dr. Gonzalez-Ayala said hospitals have become so strained, that they are expanding beyond their walls and administering to patients in tents in parking lots.  

The El Paso pulmonologist told host Shepard Smith that he had never seen anything like this in his professional career, and that he has been seeing patients with both the coronavirus and flu.

 "It is concerning because obviously we're seeing patients with not one but two essentially lethal conditions," Dr.Gonzalez-Ayala said. "We have in our service, not one, but several patients with influenza A or B and Covid, and they are complicated."