MEXICO – The saturation and lack of information on the status of patients has worsened in some hospitals in Mexico City when there is very little to reach the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced the authorities to admit the situation and take steps to reverse it.
A third of the 69 hospitals enabled to attend the pandemic in the metropolitan area of the Mexican capital, where 22 million people live, no longer admit patients, forcing patients and family members to undertake a long journey to get care.
A situation that becomes more complicated as the virus progresses, leading to 2,507 deaths and 26,025 infections in the country.
The capital is the main red light with more than 500 deaths and 6,785 infections when there are hours left to reach the peak of the pandemic, scheduled for this May 8 by the authorities.
THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS
Finding a hospital that admits a probable COVID-19 patient is only the beginning of a way of the cross for his relatives, who enter a state of uncertainty about the patient’s situation.
Jazive Pérez has the information.
Noemi arrived at the General Hospital of Mexico three days ago with her uncle Armando, 46, and with breathing problems, after he was not treated at another center. He says that he hasn’t heard from him since he was intubated, not even “if he is still alive.”
“They told us that they were going to perform the COVID test in case the pneumonia was due to that virus or another type, but until now they have not given us a report,” she says sitting on a street bench in front of a fence where several people wait to have someone from the hospital shout the name of your admitted relative to report their status.
In his hand he holds an invoice of 3,554 pesos (about $ 150). It is the cost of blood and urine tests, among others, that they did to his uncle. Naomi does not know what the results of these studies were, nor can she pay them because she was left without work because of the quarantine.
In front of the emergency doors of several capital hospitals the same tone is repeated: Family members spending the night on benches or sitting in camp chairs, faces of concern and satiety, ears open in case they hear the name of their patients and sobs when they know the death of a sick person.
At least twenty people broke into an Ecatepec hospital to find out information about the health of their relatives admitted by COVID-19.
It is not hopeful either to see the posters that hang in the bars the medical personnel complaining to the authorities on the lack of material to take care of patients with COVID-19.
Fernando has spent the night in the waiting room of the Iztapalapa General Hospital, the most sick area in the capital, where his brother, Adrián, 45, was admitted after being rejected at six health centers.
Only one family member per patient can be in the waiting room, while the rest remain on the street, behind a fence. But being inside is not a luxury for Adrián, who does not know anything about his brother and sees how other people communicate that his patient has died for days.
“It’s ugly to have a family member here,” he says, totally broken from the other side of the fence. He and other patients have been asked to buy water and diapers for patients, but they postpone the time when they will report their health.
“There are very despotic people, they do not give you any information. They ask and ask so that at any time they tell you that your relative has passed away,” he says.
Each entity will be responsible for ensuring that its inhabitants comply with the provisions.
NEW BEDS AND INFORMATION TENTS ANNOUNCED
This situation, which has dragged on for weeks, erupted on Friday when a group of family members burst into the General Hospital Las Américas in Ecatepec, on the outskirts of Mexico City, to confront medical personnel due to the lack of information on the state of health of the admitted.
Following this situation, the head of the Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, announced that tents will be installed outside hospitals on Tuesday to inform relatives 24 hours a day.
In addition, the capital authorities will facilitate video calls between COVID-19 patients, who are isolated and cannot receive visits, and their families.
Meanwhile, authorities are working against the clock to increase hospital capacity in the Valle de México area, which includes the Mexican capital and 59 nearby municipalities, where 61% of the 1,800 ventilated beds are already occupied and 69% of the 5,000 general hospital beds.
The crematoriums in the Mexican capital are at the limit of their capacity when the country has not yet reached the peak of contagions and deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the worst forecasts, 3,000 beds with fans will be required, so the Army and the Navy announced that they will make 1,400 new beds available to the health system.
At the same time, a convention center has already been opened to house the sick in a stable state, which already houses 34 patients out of the 234 available, and it is planned to open a racetrack with 218 beds.
Health authorities have forecast the peak of the pandemic for May 8, more than two months after the first case detected in the country, and they believe that perhaps in June it will be able to start returning to normal.