When it comes to coronavirus in Mexico ‘the worst is yet to come’ : WHO

“Mexico has taken the appropriate measures in the face of the coronavirus outbreak and has the capacity to face the pandemic; However, the worst is yet to come and that does not mean that everything will turn out well,” warned the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the international organism’s map, although practically all of America is already in red -signal of an advanced coronavirus epidemic-, Mexico remains gray, that is, in a first phase, with 203 affected and two deceased, said the specialists to the newspaper El País.

Interviewed by the Spanish newspaper, the heads of the WHO and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Mexico, Jean Marc Gabastou and Cristian Morales Fuhrimann, describe the actions taken by the country to confront Covid-19 in its three phases.

Both point out that adequate measures are being taken and that these couple of weeks have been used to take lessons from other countries, before the pandemic grows stronger in Mexico.

Despite everything, they affirm, the worst scenarios are still to come, and it is unpredictable to know what will happen then.

For Mexico, the prediction of seriously affected people has risen to 7 percent of the population, due to the higher incidence of diabetes and obesity in this country, vulnerable patients in the face of coronavirus.

Regarding the criticism towards Mexico in other countries, for not having taken measures in time that would have helped contain or reduce the epidemic, the WHO experts point out that this is not the case.

“Mexico is taking several of the lessons learned by other countries, such as China, and is applying consistent measures in the WHO recommendations; it was the first to develop a screening test for coronavirus, and this is a basic premise to decrease the speed of spread of the pandemic, “Morales said.

“Those efforts make us think that things are still being done well, the 300+ are still in great part imported (from other countries with the epidemic) “, he added.

For the PAHO representative, the fact that phase two measures are being applied while Mexico is still in phase one, that is going ahead.

“Take this example: in Spain schools closed when they had more than a thousand cases, and in Italy more than 2,000; here they have closed with 100. We can see that there are things that are being done correctly, although that does not mean that everything is going to be successful, we know that we are going to move to stage 2 very soon, and that phase 3 is going to be a difficult time for all Mexicans, and these phases may vary several weeks each.

“We don’t know what is going to happen. Will it be the same for the different states? Nobody knows! This is why, this is such a great challenge,” Morales said.

When asked about Mexico’s strengths to face this crisis, Gabastou highlighted the ability to react.

“The nation has establishments, very high-quality technology and highly trained personnel. The reaction capacity was immediate, it has one of the highest quality laboratories in the region and in the world, and it was the first country to implement the algorithm for complete diagnosis.

“Mexico has capacity, it is a matter of organization and reorganization of services in a situation like this, and that is where we will see how it responds to scenario 3 in the coming weeks,” said the WHO representative.

How do you foresee that Mexico will respond?

“In light of the experiences in other countries, we hope that measures are taken to mitigate the economic and health effects. Each week that passes by, we learn what to do or not to do and the cost related to efficiency”, Gabastou said.

  • A bankruptcy of the social economy could cause deaths in the medium term, perhaps more than those caused by a virus like this?

“In the short term, we must maintain the continuity of services in general and in particular health, because there are other chronic, communicable and non-communicable diseases that require monitoring, treatments that may be affected.” the expert continued

“And in the medium and long term, the virus has a global economic effect, and Mexico will not be exempt from these collateral effects, with sanitary, economic and social consequences”, he concluded.

The Yucatan Times
Newsroom


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