1 million virus cases reach Mexico, 100,000 dead

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico topped 1 million registered coronavirus cases and nearly 100,000 test-confirmed deaths on Saturday, though officials believe the number is likely too high.

How did Mexico get here? Epidemically, even defensively, against many internationally accepted practices in epidemic management, ranging from wearing a face mask, to lockdown, testing, and contact tracing.

What’s more, officials in Mexico claim that science is on their side. Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatel says any comprehensive test would be a “waste of time, effort and money”. Face masks, Lopez-Gatl, say, “are a helpful measure to stop the virus from spreading. They don’t protect us, but they are useful for protecting other people.”

President Andrés Manuel Lupez Obredor almost never wears masks, and Lopez-Gatl only occasionally does.

Except science is not visible to them. International experts recommend mass testing, and say face masks protect both the wearer and others.

“They say there is no evidence. No, I’m sorry, the proof is, ”former Health Secretary Dr. Jose Narrows said. “In May, we already had empirical evidence and began to emphasize the importance of facial masks and the need for testing in well-documented scientific studies.”

“What I can say is (the government’s) strategy did not have the necessary flexibility to accommodate the increasing amount of knowledge about the disease,” said Narayan.

The part that has been a hallmark of Lopez Obredor’s administration: never back down, never change course and double up if challenged.

His main promise to Mexicans is that there will be enough hospital beds for everyone, and his government will largely have to fulfill that original promise – even though Mexicans are very afraid of hospitals that often end up seeking treatment. We wait until the moment, at which point, doctors say, it is often too late. That fear was not unfounded; At the onset of the epidemic, three-quarters of patients in Mexico’s largest hospital network were placed on intubalates and ventilators.

This resistance was felt by Mexico City Human Resources Manager Lorena Salas when her 76-year-old father, Jaime Salas Osuna, started showing signs of what COVID-19 might be.

“The idea was mainly to stay at home, no? Salas said that thinking about going to the hospital was not an option, we were nervous that he would definitely be infected.

Instead, she arrived in the resort town of Acapulco, where her father lived, and when she arrived, he found her thin, sweaty, and confused.

“At that moment the delivery service arrived with an oxygen meter, and its oxygen saturation was 77,” she said. (A typical reading is 93 to 98). “At that moment I felt as if a bucket of cold water had fallen on me. We just saw each other. I said ‘Dad, do you have COVID? “

Salas drove her to Mexico City; He did not want to be intubat, but the doctors explained that he should be. He struggled for two operations, two intubations and 13 days before dying on 20 October.

To its credit, this is one of the few areas where the government’s public message has changed: where officials have ever urged people suffering from the disease to stay home for as long as possible, they are no longer over 60 or diabetic. Or recommend risk factors such as obesity. Seek treatment immediately.

But at most other points, the insistence that the rest of the world is wrong and that Mexico’s approach is correct has taken a toll in life.

Late on Saturday night, Mexican Health Director General Ricardo Cortés Alkela announced that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had reached 1,003,253 with at least 98,259 deaths from COVID-19.

Since the epidemic began, Mexico has managed to test approximately 2.5 million of its citizens; Only critically ill people are tested in Mexico. Epidemics have started since testing for only 1.9% of the population, if not difficult, if not impossible, to effectively detect contacts, catch outbreaks quickly or identify asymptomatic cases.

Even in Mexico City, one of the few places that has paid lip-service to try to identify cases before reaching the hospital, efforts have been incredibly weak.

To be fair, some countries have managed to approach well; Mexico, with less financial resources and where half the population is poor, self-employed or off the books, had little prospect of strict control or surveillance.

Mexico City has tried an alternative approach, which is to identify neighborhoods where cases have occurred, and pay special attention to them. Lurid yellow warning poster reading “Caution! You are entering an area of ​​high infection” now city dot. Special kiosks are set up in such neighborhoods to provide some testing, and some health workers look for cases at home- We have gone home. But this happens rarely.

For doctors on the front lines, the official response has been disappointing at times.

Dr. Head of Infectious Diseases Program at the National Medical Sciences and Nutrition Institute, one of Mexico’s major public hospitals. Arturo Galindo has seen his intensive care unit fill up to 100% capacity in recent weeks as Mexicans relaxed and began to gain more grip. -togethers. The hospital is now sending serious COVID-19 cases to other treatment centers.

Galindo said, “When I said,” when I said, “Put a mask on my face, people argue in the street”. “It wouldn’t be bad if he (Lopez Obrador) set an example.”

Not for himself, speaking for his hospital, Galindo also supports support for more testing, and in the senses are signs of a new-found desire to consider the idea – the advent of rapid, cheap new antigen tests Not least because of.

But when he says that some things are improving – people are now arriving in hospitals soon, thus improving their chances – some recent developments concern him.

Except in a few states, no one in Mexico has attempted a lockdown, or wearing a mask. The closest the local authorities have done is to force some workplaces to close, and fine or close businesses that allow too many customers at once. Beyond that – traveling, wearing masks, parties, weddings – there is very little enforcement. And as the epidemic progressed into its tenth month, people began to degrade their guards.

It has led to an opera’s super-spreader events such as the wedding of an Octa 3 actor and the daughter of a local businessman in the northern border town of Mexicali. Officials in Mexico say more than 100 people were infected with coronovirus at the wedding, with around 300 attending.

Examples of outright rebellion. On October 25, a couple of hundred youths gathered for an illegal concert at an empty lot on the outskirts of Toloca City, west of Mexico City. On the video of the incident, the lead singer of a band can be heard asking the crowd, “Honestly, who doesn’t give a damn about the epidemic?” Whoever doesn’t give a damn about coronovirus, grow your beer! “Dozens picked up their cups.

Salas, whose father died and who himself was infected, said that people would have to give up conspiracy theories and strange belief that would not happen to them.

“I see a lot of apathy, many people are irresponsible, don’t give a damn or don’t believe the disease is real. People still feel that it is something invented by the government. Saala said. “This is something that people have to realize that it exists, it is real.”

Galindo said that the people in front are shocked when they look on social media. “He has a sense of despair at seeing photos of parties, meetings,” Galindo said. “They are kept locked up for six months, fighting, without sleep or without eating, and then they watch, and it’s shocking.”


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