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‘This is the busiest we have been’: Weekly check-in with UMC’s Dr. Jose Burgos

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- In an effort to deliver the most comprehensive coronavirus coverage, ABC-7 has started a weekly feature where we ask Dr. Jose Burgos, the director of internal medicine at University Medical Center, the same seven questions each week to track how the pandemic is changing.

Here's the Q&A for Thursday, May 14:

Mauricio Casillas (KVIA): How has this past week gone for you?

Dr. Jose Burgos (UMC Internal Medicine Director): "This is the busiest that we have actually been since the pandemic made it to the Borderland."

Casillas: Can hospitals handle the current number of patients?

Burgos: "There is an entire unit or floor that has been accommodated to take care of patients with Covid, or pending investigations -- those who are pending results. The entire unit is at capacity as of today. We do have the capacity to do overflow. That's where we can take more people. But, just for you to have an idea, the entire unit today is just busy."

Casillas: What should people at home be doing right now?

Burgos: "With the partial opening, I would really advise you to just use the services that you need. Things are not back to normal."

Casillas: What is the most eye-opening thing you’ve seen this week?

Burgos: "I have this image of some of the nurses adjusting their personal protective equipment with things that they have purchased themselves just to make it more comfortable for them because they have to use it for their entire shift. This was really impressive, how they are dealing with this. How they are enduring this pandemic. How hard they are working."

Casillas: What is your prediction for next week?

Burgos: "We will be seeing the results of Mother's Day. We'll see how well El Paso did. We're going to see more cases. We haven't reached our peak."

Casillas: What is giving you hope at this time?

Burgos: "We just got approved to use one of the anti-viral that has been proven most effective. We're going to have access to that here in El Paso over the next few days. We have the use of the convalescent serum in our intensive care units. We're getting more therapeutic alternatives to treat people who are severely ill from coronavirus."

Casillas: What is your message to the Borderland?

Burgos: "If you are feeling ill from any other condition, please come to the hospital. Please go to your clinics. Please go to your primary-care doctor. Those places are safe. Being at the doctor's office is safer than being at a grocery store."

Here's a list of earlier segments:

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

Mauricio Casillas

El Paso native Mauricio Casillas co-anchors ABC-7’s Good Morning El Paso.


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