Pictures show doctors on frontline of Covid battle in Texas as state becomes new epicentre

Medical staff members perform an endoscopy on a patient suffering from coronavirus in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at United Memorial Medical Center on November 16, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Texas has recorded more than 1.1 million cases of the disease, with more than 20,000 deaths. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

Texas has become a new epicentre in the coronavirus pandemic this week as it witnessed a dangerous spike in hospitalisations and passed a milestone of 20,000 confirmed deaths.

New images from inside intensive care wards in Houston show the grim reality of the battle against the virus, which the state is currently losing.

More than 7,000 people are currently hospitalised across Texas, and the average of new daily cases has risen by 53 percent over the last two weeks.

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Getty Images

The images of doctors treating intubated patients inside the ICU ward at Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center are reminiscent of the scenes experienced by New York during its spike, where 1,000 people a day were dying at its peak.

In El Paso, mobile morgues have been called in to help overwhelmed hospitals and nursing homes deal with the dead. And yet the state’s Republican leaders continue to resist lockdown orders which public health officials say would save lives.

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Getty Images

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton intervened to block locally introduced restrictions in El Paso, an effort which was upheld by a state appeals court.

“I will not let rogue political subdivisions try to kill small businesses and holiday gatherings through unlawful executive orders,” Mr Paxton said following the court ruling. He later added on Twitter: “We must never shut Texas down again!!”

Republican governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, has yet to announce any further restrictions to meet the rapidly rising cases or allow local authorities to impose their own.

Coronavirus cases are currently surging across the United States as winter weather creates conditions for the virus to thrive. Some 41 states reported record increases in November, 20 have seen record deaths, according to a Reuters tally.  

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Getty Images

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