(Photo: . / Luis Torres)
“He cooked the best egg with chorizo”, Rosalba Herrera (72, Tamaulipas). “The best teacher, a legend in the engineering faculty”, Jesus Renato Colunga (67, Nuevo Leon). “Young man, mayor and journalist”, Torn Victory (35, Veracruz). “Best Dad”, Remy Fuantos (37, Coahuila). “The sweetest, in her house there was room for everyone”, Maria de los Angeles Moreno (68, Nuevo Leon). “An excellent mother”, Ivonne Chávez Velázquez (54, State of Mexico).
Mexico has already exceeded the 100,000 death toll from COVID-19.
There are 100,000 people, with first and last names. There are 100,000 families that have lost a loved one. They are girls, boys, women, men; daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. They are neighbors; colleagues and coworkers. There are 100,000 lives that the new coronavirus has claimed nine months after its arrival in Mexican territory.
This tragic destiny began to be written, in Mexico, last February 27 when the first case of SARS-CoV-2 was registered in the country. Unfortunately, from the drag on its way in other countries of the Middle East and Europe, it was well known that the catastrophic consequences were inevitable.
But nevertheless, With Mexico, there are only four countries in the world – the United States, Brazil and India – that register and exceed the alarming and pitiful figure of 100,000 lives lost because of the virus. This suggests that, although the deaths were not avoidable, if it could have been avoidable to reach that sad number.
Was the March 18 when the first death from COVID-19 was registered in Mexico. It was in the capital. The fatality was a 41-year-old man with diabetes. He was infected 15 days before when he attended a concert at the Palacio de los Deportes.
For him June 4, the death toll in the country was already 12,545. That day, the Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo Lopez-Gatell – the public face of the government’s strategy for managing the pandemic – estimated that deaths from the virus, in total, would be about 35,000. And in a “very catastrophic” scenario could reach up to 60,000. But that number was surpassed on August 22.
The Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo López-Gatell (Photo: . / Sáshenka Gutiérrez)
So, how did Mexico overcome its most castrophic scenario?
“We came here because of the bad decisions that were made at the governmental level”, points the Dr. Laurie Ann Ximénez-Fyvie, head of the molecular genetics laboratory of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), “the decision was made to not establish epidemiological containment strategies, but merely mitigation. This from the beginning was a decision that sentenced these 100,000 deaths and the following ones that are added ”.
And it is that, since the beginning of the pandemic, the federal government set aside prioritizing coronavirus testing and case tracking, focusing on monitoring capacity in hospitals and treating the pandemic with the Sentinel model for epidemiological surveillance, which consists of obtaining a representative sample of infections in order to determine the behavior of the virus.
In interview for . Mexico, also a doctor of medical science with a specialization in microbiology from Harvard University, insisted that the key to stopping the spread of the virus is locating and isolating contagions, in order to cut the drive chains. Something that can only be achieved, he stressed, by carrying out a greater number of tests.
“No effort is made to stop the spread of infections in the community. So there are always more infections. And each infected person is a potential sick person. And each patient is a potential hospitalized. And every hospitalized is a potential dead. The more contagions there are in the community, the more deaths, ”the specialist warned.
(Photo: REUTERS / Edgard Garrido)
The scientist also sees another cause for alarm in the “incongruous, deficient, insufficient, contradictory” information that the government provides to the population. And to exemplify it, he mentioned the case of the mask; how the authorities have said and unhappy in favor of its use, which has even become politicized. “The mask serves to reduce the contagion of covid-19, period … It should always have been said that way.”
One more reason, he regrets, are guidelines for admission to public hospitals in the country, indicating that if a person does not arrive sick enough, they simply do not hospitalize them. “And they do that because they are looking after the beds. So they take care of the beds but not the sick ”.
The same Ministry of Health has mentioned on different occasions that until 80% of the people who are admitted to Intensive Care and intubated, have not managed to survive the virus.
(Foto. / Sáshenka Gutiérrez / File)
And if we continue on this path, the doctor widely warns, the projections within six months are catastrophic: “That figure between now and March could double … or be higher.” That is to say, In less than half a year, they could already add 200,000 deaths in Mexico. “There are many people who can still be saved,” he emphasized.
How to avoid a worst case scenario?
The Dra. Laurie Ann Ximénez-Fyvie also sees some actions that could make a big difference in the tragedy that is predicted in the future.
One of them is for each person to raise awareness and reaffirm their care to avoid catching (and spreading) the coronavirus. But how?:
–Become aware of the importance of preventing contagion; putting on face masks, avoiding crowds, ventilating spaces, keeping distance.
–Self-monitor your temperature, your heart rate, your oximetry and, in the event of any alarm symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
–If a person is infected, inform everyone with whom you had contact that it is infected, in order to cut – at least – its own chain of transmission.
He also insisted that it is of vital importance increase the number of tests to try to detect the most cases, especially to asymptomatic: “The more asymptomatic you detect, the better you can stop the infections. They are the ones who spread the virus the most because they don’t know they are infected.
Y early medical care, another of the aspects that the expert emphasizes the most – who leads an initiative focused on providing early care to patients with COVID-19 for free – stressing that it can make the big difference between life and death.
For this, he explains, it is necessary for people to go to the doctor immediately if they feel any symptoms of Covid. And on the part of hospitals, he stressed, patients should be cared for when they still have mild, treatable symptoms. That is, long before they need to be intubated.
“100,000 people have died and those deaths, all of them, were preventable”, laments the doctor, “it was not preventable for the virus to arrive; the damage that the virus causes in a population is avoidable ”.
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