Health workers are being discriminated in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis

Ignorance has driven some people to attack and discriminate health workers in Mexico

Health workers are being discriminated in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis
Doctors and nurses will be the ones to fight against coronavirus - Photo: Ulises Ruíz/AFP
English 31/03/2020 09:42 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:52
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Mexico celebrates Nurses Day on January 6. The date was chosen in 1931 because it was considered that their work was a gift for those who spend hours or days in a hospital bed. 

At this time, and in the near future, it will be the nurses who face COVID-19 by treating those infected with the virus. They will be at the frontline and learn about how aggressive it is and how it affects the elderly and the more vulnerable. 

The incoming workload for doctors and nurses, as in the cases of China, Italy, and Spain, will be overwhelming: hundreds of patients being treated with whatever they have. However, nurses and doctors will be fighting against an invisible enemy, which easily infects others. 

Recommended: Live Updates: COVID-19 death toll in Mexico

For this reason, nurses and doctors will have the highest contagion risk. For example, Li Wenliang, the first Chinese doctor to talk about the existence of a deadly virus similar to SARS, died in early February after treating several patients in Wuhan. Another terrible place took place in Italy last week when a nurse who had contracted COVID-19 committed suicide because she was afraid she would spread the virus. 

During this sanitary emergency, countries such as England are praising health workers for their labor. In contrast, Mexican nurses and doctors have voiced fear and demands. They are afraid of spreading the virus among their families and are demanding proper protection equipment. On behalf of society, there has been violence: in Jalisco, nurses were drenched in bleach and if they are seen wearing their uniforms, they are forbidden from using public transport. 

Official numbers from 2015 showed there were 475,000 nurses in the country. For the World Health Organization, Mexico needs 50% more nurses. It has been recommended that there are six nurses for every 1,000 inhabitants but in Mexico, there are only 3.9 for every 1,000 inhabitants. 

From now on, before Mexico goes into a crisis, we have to recognize health workers who will be facing coronavirus. During this emergency, health workers in both the public and private sector will be the heroes. 

Recommended: COVID-19: The government asks Mexicans to stay at home for a month

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