The former presidential mansion and 196 hotels are now providing housing for medical staff on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico City.
City Express, Holiday Inn Express and Fiesta Inn are among the hotel chains that have committed to supporting healthcare workers, and many have been doing so since mid-April. More than 2,560 hotel rooms have been made available thus far.
Medical workers must show hotel personnel identification as well as a signed letter from their hospital’s director.
The hotels’ participation comes in addition to the federal government’s decision to turn Los Pinos, occupied by Mexico’s presidents until Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office, into a temporary shelter for doctors and nurses.
“In the case of Los Pinos and all these hotel efforts, which there are many, it is specifically for workers who are in contact with Covid patients,” explained Zoé Robledo, director of the Social Security Institute (IMSS). “They are the ones who carry the greatest burden, the greatest stress, and of course we are taking care of them.”
The Los Pinos Cultural Complex will be able to offer 58 doctors and nurses from three different hospitals a safe and clean space to rest, eat, do laundry, exercise and use the internet, the IMSS director said.
An internal survey of medical staff showed that 86% were in favor of the shelters, many citing long commutes between work and home using public transportation, as well as a desire to protect loved ones from infection.
As of May 5, 6,999 confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Mexico City, and 543 deaths. Oliva López Arellano of Mexico City’s Ministry of Health said 97 health workers have been infected and 13 have died.