Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Ending confinement could cause health system’s collapse: doctor

President López Obrador’s call for people to come out of home confinement despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could cause Mexico’s health system to collapse, says the president of the National Federation of Medical Schools.

In an interview with the newspaper El Financiero, Dr. Belinda Cázares Gómez said the president’s remarks are a reflection of his desire to reactivate the economy as quickly as possible.

Noting that a lot of people are in “very precarious” financial situations, Cázares acknowledged that reopening the economy is important but warned that it could cause coronavirus infections to spike.

“We don’t even know if we’ve reached the peak [of the pandemic] yet,” she said.

“Unfortunately, the risk of relaxing … the confinement is that there will be a lot more infections. Hopefully it won’t happen but the risk is clear and the future looks very ominous because the health system could collapse even though they’ve opened some hospitals that had been abandoned,” Cázares said.

The doctor said the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico has exposed the poor condition of the health system, which she blamed on years of neglect.

“We can’t blame this government, the health system wasn’t created a year and a half ago,” Cázares said.

National data presented by the Health Ministry on Tuesday night showed that 46% of general care beds set aside for patients with serious coronavirus symptoms are currently occupied, while 39% of those with ventilators are in use.

However, the occupancy levels are considerably higher in states with large coronavirus outbreaks.

Just under three-quarters of general care beds are currently occupied in hospitals in Mexico City and México state, while more than 60% of those with ventilators are in use in those two entities as well as Baja California.

Mexico has recorded almost 155,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic despite low testing rates, while more than 18,000 people have lost their lives to the disease.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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