70 deaths from “atypical pneumonia” – Government denies COVID-19

Funeral homes in the Toluca Valley asked the Ministry of Health to issue recommendations for treating casualties of Covid-19

TOLUCA Mexico (Agencies) – In the last week, an unprecedented number of deaths due to atopic pneumonia have been recorded in Toluca. Approximately 70 deaths, which contrasts with the monthly average of around 200 deaths in the capital of the State of Mexico, from different causes.

Given this situation, representatives of the “Unión de Funerarias del Valle de Toluca” –Funerary homes union from the Valley of Toluca”– called on the health sector to indicate the precise causes of the deaths, so that the funeral home workers can take the appropriate measures. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, they said they require this information because 70 percent of funeral home employees are over 50 years old or have a diagnosis of chronic diseases, including diabetes and/or hypertension, which makes them more vulnerable to Covid-19.

“We urge public hospitals, private sanatoriums, medical clinics that because we have cases where Covid-19 is not registered on their death certificate and they handle it as chronic patients with more subtle causes such as community-acquired pneumonia, bilateral pneumonia, or hypertension, widespread causes but not the real cause,” Union of Funeral Home Representatives Gabino Zarza Sanchez said at a press conference.

Hugo Lopez-Gatell, undersecretary of health, said the issue of atypical pneumonia has generated doubts and also “fake news”.

Hugo Lopez-Gatell

“I saw those news. We don’t have credible information about it, but if it were the case we would analyze it very carefully,” said Undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell about it.

Questioned on the issue by Denise Maerker during the news program “Atando Cabos” of Grupo Fórmula, the undersecretary visibly upset, did not respond further. However, he explained the federal government’s position on the purchase of “rapid tests” of COVID-19 by states such as Jalisco.

“We have no objection to testing in private hands or in the hands of state governments. But we have set a basic technical condition: the tests that are intended to be used of COVID-19 require proof of its technical capability. What INDRE has done is simply to produce the technical documents recognizing the technical capacity of the tests. We do not want there to be tests that do not have the technical capacity.” (SIC) said Undersecretary Lopez-Gatell.

There has been speculation in social networks about the rise in this type of cases of atypical pneumonia and about the number of fatalities in relation to a “cover-up” of new cases of Covid-19.

The Yucatan Times