JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) — The COVID-19 virus has claimed two new victims in Juarez, making it four fatalities in the past few days.
The victims, ages 35 and 40, had underlying medical problems — one had asthma, the other hypertension — that made them more susceptible to the effects of the coronavirus, health officials said Tuesday.
“Our condolences to the families that now face the painful loss of their mothers, their sisters,” said Dr. Arturo Valenzuela Zorrilla, Chihuahua state Health Authority in Juarez. “I thank those who remain home, who observe (social distancing) rules. Because of them we don’t have even more deaths. I hope more people embrace this responsibility and help us flatten the (COVID-19) curve and free up hospital beds and medical services.”
On Monday, health officials had announced the first two deaths — two men in their 40s with diabetes — and warned that the worst of the pandemic was still to come, as the coronavirus had reached the community spread stage.
Juarez as of Tuesday had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases plus 20 suspected cases. Across the border, El Paso, Texas stood at 125 cases with no deaths. However, with a population twice as large as that of El Paso, Juarez officials are preparing for a “worst-case scenario” of up to 2,500 potential victims.
“The objective here is to avoid fatalities. The disease spreads very fast, many of us may get sick but the goal is to avoid complications, to avoid fatalities,” said Chihuahua state Deputy Health Director Gumaro Barrios.
Just a few days ago, the municipal government set up a temporary mobile hospital in the parking lot of City Hall and donated 5,000 N95 surgical masks for health care workers.