Mexican healthcare workers urgently need protective equipment to treat patients infected with COVID-19

In Mexico, the first COVID-19 case was registered while the health emergency had reached its peak in China, Italy, and Spain

Mexican healthcare workers urgently need protective equipment to treat patients infected with COVID-19
It was expected that no health system would be able to treat thousands of patients and that medical supplies wouldn’t be enough - Photo: Carlos Mejía/EL UNIVERSAL
English 09/04/2020 09:16 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:32
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In Mexico, the first COVID-19 case was registered while the health emergency had reached its peak in China, Italy, Spain, and South Korea. Therefore, the Mexican government, health authorities, and society had the opportunity to learn from their success and mistakes when handling the coronavirus outbreak. However, Mexico has now lost its advantage after entering the second phase of its contingency plan and registered a surge in the number of contagions

It was expected that no health system would be able to treat thousands of patients and that medical supplies wouldn’t be enough. As the pandemic worsened, it became clear that healthcare workers were at the frontline but that they were also at risk and that protecting them was essential. 

All the issues mentioned above were expected. Did Mexico learn from international experience? Did it act on time? Last night, it was announced that according to numbers from the Health Ministry, the country has registered 3,100 cases. However, just last week, the IMSS was filing paperwork to purchase 2,500 ventilators and now that time is running out, the health institute directly granted the contract to a company.

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On April 8, it was also confirmed that 19 doctors who work at an IMSS clinic located in Tlalnepantla, in the state of Mexico, contracted COVID-19 but authorities argue they contracted the virus outside the facility.

The case in Tlalnepantla is not the only one; health workers in Monclova, Cuernavaca, and Cabo San Lucas have also contracted coronavirus. For weeks, doctors and nurses have demanded equipment to treat patients.

This week, the UNAM and IPN, Mexico’s major universities, decided to remove their students from hospitals and clinics because they lacked proper protection equipment to treat patients infected with coronavirus

Furthermore, there is evidence that there is no medical equipment for doctors and nurses, or that it was purchased too late. 

Healthcare workers deserve the proper equipment to contain the virus and treat the ill. They are our soldiers, facing coronavirus every day. Mexico must understand this or there will be a high price to pay. 

Recommended: Cuba sends doctors to help Mexico fight COVID-19

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