Thursday, December 7, 2023

Mexican health workers face higher risk of dying from Covid-19

Mexican health workers are more likely to die from Covid-19 than their counterparts in countries such as the United States, China, Peru and Brazil, data shows.

In a new report, the non-governmental organization Signos Vitales (Vital Signs) said that 2.6% of all Covid-19 fatalities in Mexico between May 22 and June 9 were medical personnel.

The figure is more than six times higher than the United Kingdom’s rate of 0.4% and more than five times higher than China’s rate of 0.5%.

The deaths of health workers in the United States from Covid-19 account for 0.54% of all fatalities from the disease in that country, Signos Vitales said, while the rates in Peru and Brazil are 0.86% and 1.22%, respectively.

The report said that health workers in Mexico have had greater exposure to the coronavirus than those in other countries due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and training in the treatment of infectious diseases.

Signos Vitales also said that 71.3% of 1,915 health workers it surveyed were afraid of dying from Covid-19. Just under three-quarters rated the government poorly for its response to the pandemic.

The NGO also reported that 32,388 of 154,863 people confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus to June 16 were health workers. In other words, two or every 10 infections detected were among medical personnel.

Speaking at the presentation of the report on Thursday, former federal health minister and Signos Vitales member Salomón Chertorivski said the government was too late in providing sufficient PPE to health workers, increasing their risk of contracting the coronavirus.

“It took a long time to arrive even though we had 2 1/2 months to prepare and learn what other countries did. … The first equipment … [came from] private donations,” he said.

The Signos Vitales report also apportioned blame to the government for the high rates of coronavirus infections and deaths among health workers.

“The first victims of the tardy and inefficient response of the authorities were health personnel,” the report said.

Source: Reforma (sp), El Universal (sp) 

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