The governor of Nayarit has accused the Social Security Institute (IMSS) of failing to protect health workers adequately, pointing out that 42% of people ill with Covid-19 in the Pacific coast state are IMSS medical personnel.
“The way in which the heroic IMSS personnel are exposed in our state is not fair,” Antonio Echevarría said in a video message posted to social media on Wednesday.
“Today I will seek out the general director of the Mexican Social Security Institute, Zoé Robledo, to share my concern with him about … IMSS personnel whose health and lives are exposed because of poor institutional practices,” he said.
The governor said that the “internal protocols” at IMSS health care facilities have to be improved to ensure that health workers are not exposed to the risk of infection.
Medical personnel across Mexico have protested to demand more supplies of personal protective equipment in order to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, although the frequency of protests has decreased since the federal government began bringing supplies into the country from China.
Echevarría also took aim at Nayarit residents who have not followed the instruction to stay in their homes if they are not carrying out essential activities.
“With the 15 new cases yesterday we reached 166 in total and we had the most lethal day [yet] with four regrettable deaths … caused by Covid-19. The trend … is clearly on the rise and it coincides with the obvious relaxation of the rules and measures of social isolation. People are increasingly walking around the streets doing nonessential activities. This conduct is unacceptable,” he said.
“It’s my responsibility to warn you that if we continue … en masse [with] the stubborn challenge to death seen since April 30, in a few more days the capacity of hospitals [to respond] will collapse and funeral services won’t have any storage capacity. … The incredulity of some and the negligence of others is exposing the rest of the population,” Echevarría said.
The governor urged state police and municipal authorities to ensure that coronavirus containment measures are followed. Those violating orders to stay at home without a valid reason can be fined or even jailed for 72 hours.
Echevarría said that authorities of all levels of government must assume their responsibility to enforce social distancing rules “without simulation.”
“Let it be clear; I will personally bring lawsuits against … any government representative … whose negligence or simple incompetence costs lives in this [health] emergency,” he said.
“This problem is real and very serious but we will do what is necessary without fear of the costs in [terms of] popularity or politics; I prefer to be judged as having exaggerated in the mobility restriction measures in order to save lives than to carry the terrible legacy of death on my conscience,” Echevarría said.
Twenty Covid-19 patients have died to date in Nayarit, which has the ninth lowest coronavirus death toll among the states.