Mexico surpasses grim milestone: 1 million coronavirus cases
Mexico has surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases and has reached nearly 100,000 deaths as of Sunday.
As the Associated Press reported, Mexico’s government has largely ignored accepted safety guidelines and practices to fight COVID-19. Officials have gone against recommendations to wear face masks, order lockdowns, conduct mass testing and practice contact tracing.
Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell called widespread testing “a waste of time, effort and money.”
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador almost never wears a mask, the AP reports. Despite dismissing commonly accepted methods to slow the spread of COVID-19, Mexico’s government officials claim that science is on their side.
Former health secretary Dr. José Narro disagreed with such claims saying, “They say there is no evidence. No, excuse me, there is evidence. In May, we already began to have empirical evidence and well-documented scientific studies began to appear stressing the importance of face masks and the need for testing.”
The article notes that only seriously ill people receive tests in Mexico with only 2.5 million tests administered so far. That amounts to a little less than two percent of Mexico’s population of 128 million people. This lack of testing has made it nearly impossible to trace contacts or identify outbreaks.
Dr. Arturo Galindo, head of the infectious disease program at one of Mexico’s top hospitals, National Medical Sciences and Nutrition Institute, told the AP his hospital’s ICU has reached 100 percent capacity in recent weeks, forcing them to send incoming patients to other medical centers.
Galindo said, “I have had arguments on the street when I say, ‘Hey, put your face mask on,’ and people argue with me, citing the argument ‘well, the president doesn’t,’ and that is their only argument.”
According to Galindo, frontline workers are shocked by what they see on social media.
“They have this sense of frustration seeing photos of parties, meetings. They have been locked up for six months, fighting, going without sleep or without eating, and then they see that, and it’s shocking,” he said.
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