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Mexico disapproves of measures to contain coronavirus infections

The late application of sanitary measures and not generalized are the determining factors, highlights a study from the University of Miami

MEXICO – The government of the president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been failed in the sanitary measures to contain the coronavirus infections, according to I Index of Adoption of Public Policies for Containment of COVID-19, developed by the University of Miami, which places Mexico in fourth place, among the Latin American countries.

Mexico it barely reaches 43 out of 100 points and is significantly below other countries in the region.

“(This) is due to a late application of the measures and a great heterogeneity within the country in how these measures have been applied,” he said. Felicia knaul, leader of this project and director of the Institute for Advanced Studies for the Americas from the University of Miami.

The report comes after the Mexican Ministry of Health reported that the country exceeded 600,000 infections and 65,000 deaths from the coronavirus, since the first case was detected on February 28.

According to the index, Mexico is surpassed by Bolivia, with 80 points, Colombia, with 63, and Chile, with 53.

The variables that are measured are school closings, suspension of labor area, cancellation of public events, suspension of public transport, development of information campaigns, travel restriction within the state, international travel control, directive of stay at home, t restrictionmeeting rigging of people, mandatory use of mask.

Right in the use of face masks, Mexico has 72 points; above are Colombia, with 91; Bolivia, with 89; Chile, with 88, and Brazil, with 77.

In Mexico, there has been much criticism that President López Obrador does not wear a mask in his press conferences and in his public appearances, since he does not comply with the sanitary recommendations of his own Undersecretary of Health, Hugo Lopez-Gatell.

Knaul indicated that mobility in the region is also being tracked and how openness occurs.

Mexico is among the countries that fewer have reduced mobility during the entire pandemic and is the one that has performed the least tests, he said during his participation in the forum COVID-19 in the Americas: Policies and Perspectives, organized by the University of Miami.

And it is that in Mexico a mandatory confinement was never dictated, so mobility is one of the main problems to contain infections, since in many regions people “do not believe” in the coronavirus, so they have continued with their normal activities without the minimum sanitary measures.

National policy is missing

In Mexico there is a populist leadership that uses the pandemic of COVID-19 to distribute messages that are not based on evidence, which is very dangerous, warned Felicia Knaul, director of the Institute for Advanced Study for the Americas at the University of Miami.

The expert asked not to politicize the pandemic.

“What we are seeing … is essentially the policy of kicking the problem, of letting the states be the ones to solve or decide the policies, so that instead of having an articulated national policy there are 32 different policies.”

He assured that contradictory messages are spread and that, instead, these should be based on evidence, in addition to being consistent, simple, clear, and easy to understand and follow.

In the forum, Rafael Lozano, director ofe Health Systems and Strategic Analysis of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation of the University of Washington, said that what is not valid is that politicians argue lack of evidence for not doing things they should.

Julio Frenk, former Secretary of Health, warned that in Latin America there are more than 5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, despite the fact that the region has only 8% of the world’s population.

He alerted about the health systems in the region, which are segmented.

“There are difficulties in accessing the hospital system that put the most vulnerable population at special risk in terms of admission; also to the adult population, in advanced ages and with comorbidities ”, she stated.

He said that it is time to intervene with programs of universal access to health and a basic income.

“What happens in the region must be a catalyst for institutional change in the hemisphere.”