Mexico sends mobile morgue to Juarez as COVID-19 fatalities pile up

Border Report

Border city running out of space to care for patients, store cadavers and hold funerals

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The El Paso-Juarez border region is reporting 54 more coronavirus-related deaths today.

Fourteen residents over 50 years of age with underlying medical conditions were confirmed to have died from complications of COVID-19 and 863 new infections were diagnosed, El Paso City-County health authorities said early Wednesday.

The Texas Department of Public Health also notified the county that an additional 970 tests performed in October and November came back positive. El Paso County has now recorded 67,484 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

Juarez, Mexico reported 40 new fatalities among COVID-19 patients, bringing its totals to 1,582 deaths and 17,066 cases. Local officials admit the actual number of cases is underreported due to limited testing, so there could be three to four times as many infections.

The virus has ravaged Juarez in the past few days, with 203 fatalities reported since last Friday. All five major public hospitals are at or near capacity as are morgues and funeral homes.

Dr. Wendy Avila

A mobile COVID-19 field hospital is now operating behind Juarez General Hospital and the Mexican Social Security Institute late Tuesday sent a mobile morgue to Juarez, said Dr. Wendy Avila, deputy health prevention coordinator in the state of Chihuahua.

The latter facility is a refrigerated trailer that’s being equipped and furnished by local health officials and will be able to store bodies and allow for autopsies and other medical pathology procedures to be performed, Avila said. The truck is parked on the grounds of the IMSS-66 hospital in Juarez.

Both El Paso and Juarez remain under a lockdown of non-essential businesses. Juarez has a nightly curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and is planning a second consecutive weekend shutdown starting Friday night and lasting through Monday morning.

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