A Florida doctor said he had to turn away someone seeking emergency cancer treatment because of the massive COVID-19 surge within the state.
Dr. Nitesh Paryani, a radiation oncologist in Tampa, Florida, told CNN that a Florida hospital sent a cancer patient to him for treatment options. This is common for Paryani, who often accepts emergency cancer patients.
But for the first time in his life, Paryani had to turn away someone because of the surge in COVID-19 cases.
“We just didn’t have a bed. There was simply no room in the hospital to treat the patient,” he told CNN.
“Delta is just ripping through the hospitals in ways that we couldn’t have imagined and the strain it’s causing on the health care system is unimaginable,” Paryani, the medical director of Tampa Oncology and Proton, told CNN.
Indeed, Florida has seen a massive surge in coronavirus cases as the highly transmissible delta variant continues to spread within the state. There has also been concern about other variants seeping their way through Florida, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, said Florida’s COVID-19 numbers have reached such high levels that Florida would have a travel ban from the U.S. if it were another country.
“The viral load in Florida is so high right now, there are really only two places on the planet where it’s higher,” he said, adding that Louisiana and the country of Botswana are the other two locations where there are higher cases.
“It’s so high in Florida that I think if Florida were another country, we would have to consider banning travel from Florida to the United States.”
Indeed, COVID-19 patients have been flooding into hospitals and treatment centers. One viral photo showed the widespread impact of this, with COVID-19 patients lyiing on the floor waiting for help, per The Florida Times-Union.