Mexico is ready for the novel coronavirus international emergency
The WHO declared the novel coronavirus as an international health emergency - Photo: Taken from Mexico's Health Ministry's Twitter account

Mexico is ready for the novel coronavirus international emergency

30/01/2020
16:41
Mexico City
Perla Miranda & Teresa Moreno
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The declaration of a global emergency triggers recommendations to all countries aimed at preventing or reducing the cross-border spread of disease while avoiding unnecessary interference with trade and travel

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Mexico's Health Ministry is holding an extraordinary meeting of the National Committee of Health Security as an answer to the declaration of international emergency for the novel coronavirus issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).

On its Twitter account, the Ministry headed by Jorge Alcocer Varela informed that after the alert issued by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the general director of the WHO, authorities called for an emergency meeting to define the measures Mexico will implement.

Ghebreyesus announced the decision after a meeting of its Emergency Committee, an independent panel of experts, amid mounting evidence of the virus spread to some 18 countries.

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Tedros told a news conference in Geneva that recent weeks have witnessed an unprecedented outbreak which has been met by an unprecedented response.

The declaration of a global emergency triggers recommendations to all countries aimed at preventing or reducing the cross-border spread of disease while avoiding unnecessary interference with trade and travel.

 It covers temporary recommendations for national health authorities worldwide, which include stepping up their monitoring, preparedness, and containment measures.

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Among those present at the meeting are the deputy ministers of Health Prevention and Promotion Hugo López and Gatell Ramírez; Asa Ebba Christina Laurell and Pedro Flores Jiménez from Health Integration and Development, the head of Finance and Administration Unit Pedro Florez Jiménez, the director of the National Center for Prevention Programs and Disease Control Ruy López Ridaura, the director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía Zegarra, as well as the director of the National Institute for Social Security (IMSS) Zoe Robledo Aburto and the director of the Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE).

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard is attending a similar meeting at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States to address the same topic.

On Thursday, Mexico’s Health Ministry gave a news conference on the alert issued by the WHO regarding the novel coronavirus international emergency.

José Luis Alomía said that the country is preparing the necessary components to be ready for when the disease arrives in Mexico: “to have everything planned and ready.”

Until now, there have been nine suspected coronavirus cases in Mexico, however, all of them were classified as negatives.

The National System of Epidemiological Surveillance added that they continue to be alert of people with symptoms of acute respiratory disease that have traveled to China.

“One of the main objectives is to detect the first imported cases to implement isolation measures that undermine the transmission and to stop the virus from spreading.

“There is no travel restriction: people can go in and out of the country. There is no native transmission. There are no restriction measures for people in any of the borders,” explained Alomía.

The Health Ministry said it has a strategic reserve of elements like masks, “First, this reserve will be used and in case more is needed, it will be purchased from the private sector,” it said.

For his part, doctor Jean-Marc Gabastou, representative of the PanAmerican Health Organization in Mexico informed that there is one week to evaluate the coronavirus epidemic in China to issue the emergency alert. Likewise, he added that the disease could have a greater impact since it can spread to neighbor countries.

Since January 31, authorities will disseminate the guidelines for the medical attention of coronavirus in different levels: diagnostic and treatment, biosafety, infection control, and patient’s care.

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