Conapred has received complaints from doctors and nurses who were raped for fear of contagion, and from patients who have been denied medical attention.

Mexican medical and nursing personnel have been physically and verbally violated by people who fear they may be infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus, the head of the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (Conapred), Mónica Maccise.

He also stated that people who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus have been victims of discrimination and violations of their human rights. Some have had their access to work limited, through threats that they will be fired.

Others have been denied access to health care, having been denied care in some hospitals. In the same way, they have received complaints from some people who have been prevented from accessing temporary shelters.

Conapred have received concrete complaints from groups of sexual diversity that have been affected in their rights because religious leaders have interpreted the origin of Covid-19 as being homosexual, in feminism or in women’s decisions about their own bodies.

“Instead of adequately reporting how doctors do here every day, what they do is motivate rejection and discrimination against these populations.”

A fourth sector of the population that has been discriminated against is foreigners or their descendants, in particular people with asian features. Maccise said that most of them are Mexican citizens and many have never been to China, the country where the current Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak arose.

Socioeconomic inequality

The Conapred head also highlighted the importance of not discriminate against people who, for economic reasons, cannot stay at home, attending to the health emergency call.

He stressed that Mexico is a country where socioeconomic inequality predominates, in which six out of 10 people have a formal employment contract, with benefits that allow them to access health services, but the remaining 40 percent are at a greater disadvantage.

“The healthy distance is much healthier if we consider the diversity and the difference that exists in our country,” said the official.

He especially mentioned the domestic workers, a group that he described as “historically vulnerable”, and called on their employers not to force them to work during the stage of confinement is recommended, and to cover their total salary during this period.

Maccise mentioned other groups vulnerable to contagion: people held in prisons or at immigration stations. To guarantee their right to health, they called on the authorities to implement the necessary sanitary measures to reduce the possibility of contagion, as well as making medical prevention information available in their languages.

Discrimination comes from “ignorance and fear”: López-Gatell

During the conference, the undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo López-Gatell, declared that “hatred, and with it phobia, discrimination and stigma, are based on a very toxic combination of ignorance and fear

He stressed that discrimination can lead to confusing us and seeing another as a stranger. “This is very inadequate, since controlling an epidemic requires solidarity.”

López-Gatell recognized that in Mexico a high percentage of the population lives in economic conditions of poverty. It is on this sector that the economic effects of the pandemic may fall most strongly.

“We are missing many weeks of this measure and the epidemic,” said the epidemiologist.

Discharged patients do not need follow-up

Patients who have already recovered from Covid-19 and were discharged “do not need specific follow-up,” reported the Undersecretary of Health.

“Fortunately eight out of 10 people with Covid recover spontaneously, due to the effect of its immune system, and the virus does not leave sequelae ”.

He specified that those who have a more serious disease require surveillance because they could be left with some damage to lung function, but not because of the contagion issue.

“Those who have already been infected have passed the disease, they can not be infected again in a short time,” he said.