A poignant photo of an intensive care doctor embracing a coronavirus patient has emerged.
Dr Joseph Varon, chief of staff at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston in the US, said he noticed the patient was “very emotional” on Thanksgiving day.
Dr Varon, who leads a Covid unit and was dressed in full PPE, said he stopped to wrap his arms around the man.
The heartbreaking photo, taken by a Getty photographer, has since gone viral.
Dr Varon told Good Morning America: “He was very sad because he’s in a room where he knows nobody.
“We come in dressed like astronauts, and even though I usually have my picture with me so they can know who I am when I go to see them, it’s very frustrating for the patients, and he was very emotional.
“And just when I heard [his emotion], I hugged him.”
Dr Varon said he was on his 252nd consecutive day working during the pandemic.
He spoke about how hard working during the pandemic has been, saying he sometimes does 16 hour shifts.
When he leaves home for a shift, he doesn’t know how long he is going to be.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported a total 13,142,997 cases of coronavirus, an increase of 143,333 from its previous count.
It said the number of deaths had risen by 1,210 to 265,166.