MEXICO – The country reaches its most critical week of infections with 27,634 cases and 2,704 deaths and begins to face saturation in some hospitals while some crematoriums have already been overwhelmed.
According to the most recent projections by health authorities, the maximum peak of COVID-19 infections will occur on Friday, although in recent days this date had been advanced to this same Wednesday.
In the words of the undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo López-Gatell, “the curve” of infections has been flattened and therefore the authorities are convinced that they will be able to avoid hospital saturation.
“It gave us time to prepare,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Wednesday at his press conference, recalling that the pandemic had reached other countries much earlier.
In addition, he assured that the health crisis is not occurring at the same time and with the same virulence throughout the territory. “It helps us, because now we are reinforcing where the pandemic is most affecting.”
HOSPITALS BEGIN TO PRESENT SATURATION
One of the main challenges facing the Mexican government, even before the start of the pandemic, was to strengthen a weak health system.
Jazive Pérez has the information.
However, López Obrador himself was responsible for reiterating on various occasions that the country had the necessary infrastructure to deal with the pandemic, which arrived in Mexico on February 28.
“We have not been passed,” he said Monday.
According to the most recent hospital occupancy report, nationwide there is 31% hospital occupancy, but there are large differences.
In Mexico City the occupancy rate is 71%, in Baja California 65% and in the State of Mexico, neighboring the capital, 53%.
Meanwhile, in beds with ventilators (for critically ill patients), the national saturation is only 25%. But in the capital it amounts to 58%, in Baja California 48% and in the State of Mexico 43%.
THE MEXICAN COUNTER CLOCK
In mid-April, the federal government signed an agreement with Mexican private hospitals for them to offer 3,115 beds for ordinary illnesses during the emergency.
At least twenty people broke into an Ecatepec hospital to find out information about the health of their relatives admitted by COVID-19.
And thus avoid saturation of the public system, focused on the fight against the coronavirus.
In addition, on Monday, in an effort to strengthen care for patients with COVID-19, the country’s Armed Forces reported that they would attend to patients as part of the federal “hospital restructuring” exercise.
With this, only in Mexico City and its metropolitan area, where more than 7,000 cases are registered, 1,574 beds were added as part of the plan of the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena), in addition to 180 in the state of Sinaloa, 150 in Tabasco, 115 in Quintana Roo and 122 in Baja California.
In the capital, the Secretary of the Navy has set up several hospitals for the seriously and non-seriously ill, with a capacity for more than 1,000 people in total.
HERMETISM AND OCCUPATION
In Mexico City there are no obvious signs of hospital saturation, although there are relatives in the surroundings of medical centers who have reported a lack of information about their patients.
However, and despite the official figures, it is surprising that some hospitals enabled by the Armed Forces are already occupied, as Efe found in a tour this Wednesday.
Paramedics confirmed that she had coronavirus symptoms and took her to a hospital. Everything was captured on camera.
There was hardly any movement around the facilities, but there was a lot of secrecy.
“At the moment we do not have availability to receive patients with a suspicious diagnosis or symptom of COVID-19,” read a blanket hanging outside the Naval Hospital, with 140 places.
Marina sources stated that this center was already completely occupied, but not all of its facilities.
Meanwhile, private facilities such as the Spanish Hospital and the ABC Medical Center already reported saturation since the end of April.
CREMATORIES CANNOT SUPPLY
Among the protocols to follow when a person dies of coronavirus is not to perform funerals and it is recommended that the bodies be cremated.
Roberto Palomo Regino, head of the Pantheons Departmental Unit of the Xochimilco mayor’s office, located to the south of the city, said that the crematorium of the Xilotepec pantheon has been overwhelmed.
The health authorities maintain special attention on the Cuautitlán prison and another in the Yucatan where there have been outbreaks.
“In cremations (the increase) is 300% compared to one day,” said the official.
In April, for example, 84 cremations were made. But in the 5 days that go from May they already add 40. And they work 24 hours a day.
“Guards were opened with three cremators per shift,” he said.
SCAMS IN THE MIDST OF PANDEMIC
Despite the fact that the service offered in Xochimilco is free, there are cases like that of Carlos Arturo Zamorano Trujillo, who said he was swindled by a funeral agency.
This Wednesday, she said that her mother, Carolina, was admitted to a public hospital and although she suffered from chronic lung disease, her death was reported as a probable coronavirus without having a definitive diagnosis.
Many fear becoming the next victims of those who reject them because they think they will be infected with COVID-19.
“There was never a test, nor did he have fever. His problem was pulmonary fibrosis and he had been ill at home for three weeks,” he explained.
However, lacking contracted funeral services, the hospital social worker offered to get her a funeral home that charged her 11,500 pesos ($ 471) for taking her mother to the Xilotepec pantheon to be cremated.
“I want to sue them, but I need them to give me the receipt,” said the man as he waited, with regret, for the remains of his mother to be handed over to him.