MEXICO – The government of Mexico City opened a total of 34 kiosks in the areas most affected by COVID-19 on Wednesday, which citizens can approach so that medical personnel can assess the possibility that they have been infected.

Among the 34, there is one in the central Doctores neighborhood, which is at a red light (maximum danger) due to the high spread of the virus and where the kiosk will be until Sunday, July 19.

Dozens of residents of the area queued to be evaluated by health professionals who, under the tents, interview those present about their symptoms and define whether they should be tested for COVID-19, which they do free of charge on the spot. people who pass the filters.

“They have to make a waiting line so that later our filters identify if their need for care is related to COVID (…). The need is identified and it is dispatched to any of the modules,” explained Dr. Sandrine Rivera, deputy director of epidemiology and preventive medicine in the Cuauhtémoc health jurisdiction.

A dozen specialists attended to those who have come to this space from the first hour, which on July 15 opened its doors after disseminating it on social networks and the media, with the support of the undersecretary’s office for Citizen Participation in the capital.

The strategy followed by this institution has been to disseminate in the most massive way possible information about the virus, the circumstances of contagion and awareness.

The Mexican government expresses annoyance at the comparisons being made.

“It is a community strategy: instead of looking for an individual for an individual, we go to where we have the highest concentration of cases and we reach the population that could be vulnerable at a strategic point,” Rivera explained.

In this sense, the coordinator of Citizen Participation in Cuauhtémoc, Cecilia Montes, agreed on the need to make efforts to raise awareness and work together and in coordination with other organizations.

“This is a more grounded idea, we had already worked in diffusion in these colonies, where the index had been rising. All that information we have been sending it to the city government,” said Monte, who celebrated that now it works more “inter-institutional” with the capital government.

For both, massive information and medical care are a good solution to get contagion cases down while neighbors can understand the seriousness of the matter, since Montes estimates that 30% of people who visit continue to reject the existence of the virus.

Still, Rivera insisted that, although the opposite may be thought, it was not convenient or possible to implement this kiosk strategy beforehand because certain data on the most affected areas was missing.

Since May it has been exclusively dedicated to patients with COVID-19.

For Pamela -who had mild symptoms a month ago and this Wednesday went to the kiosk in the Doctores neighborhood- this option is “excellent” since in the area, where she lives, she said that there are many people who go out on the street without face masks and it is important that they understand that they put at risk their neighbors and relatives.

According to the most recent official data, 36,906 people have died in Mexico so far due to COVID-19 and 317,635 have been infected.

In the capital there are 58,855 infections and 7,817 deaths.