Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Acapulco hospitals on point of collapse: mayor

Hospitals in Acapulco, Guerrero, are on the verge of collapse due to the large numbers of Covid-19 patients they are treating, the resort city’s mayor said on Thursday.

“I’m deeply concerned about the situation we’re going through in our municipality,” Adela Román Ocampo said in a video posted to social media.

“The coronavirus pandemic has spread out across all of Acapulco. The situation is very serious. … The virus exists, it’s not an invention and it’s causing the deaths of thousands of people across the whole country. In Acapulco 38 people have lost their lives and we have almost 520 infected people.”

Román said that Acapulco hospitals are approaching 80% of their capacity and that more people with coronavirus-like symptoms are arriving every day.

If the situation isn’t controlled within a short period of time, “Acapulco’s hospitals will collapse and they won’t be able to attend to more patients,” she said.

The mayor also said that one of the two crematoriums in Acapulco is on the brink of saturation.

Román implored residents of Acapulco to take the pandemic seriously, asserting that “the danger is very high” and pointing out that the pandemic is growing more quickly in Guerrero than in all but two other states of the country.

“Acapulco is the center of the pandemic in the state. That’s why it’s necessary for you to stay at home; don’t go out [where you can] catch or spread a virus that could cause your death or that of your family,” she said.

The Morena party mayor said that she was aware of the economic hardship people are going through due to the shutdown of the tourism sector and economy more generally.

In that context, Román announced a series of measures she said would help to reactivate the Acapulco economy amid the pandemic.

She said that fertilizer will be distributed to 10,000 farmers to allow them to sow new crops “during this very difficult stage of the pandemic,” that jobs will be offered in a local government program to repair potholes before the commencement of the rainy season and that financial support will be made available to 5,000 local fishermen and fishing cooperatives.

However, a true reactivation of the Acapulco economy will be heavily dependent on the resumption of activities in the tourism sector. While authorities in Quintana Roo are hoping to welcome tourists to the Caribbean coast resort city of Cancún as soon as June 8, it is unclear when visitors will be able to return to the port city sometimes referred to as “the Pearl of the Pacific.”

Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said Wednesday that “the critical time” of the pandemic in Acapulco “is still a long way off” and that its tourism industry won’t be able to open any time soon.

According to federal government statistics, 555 people have now tested positive for Covid-19 in the city while case numbers in Guerrero are just short of 1,000.

There have been 147 coronavirus-related deaths in the state, where many residents in rural areas don’t have easy access to health care facilities should they require urgent medical attention.

Source: La Jornada (sp) 

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