Weekly Roundups

Are We Ready for This?

By Miriam Bello | Fri, 03/20/2020 - 14:02

After two confirmed deaths as of Thursday, Mexico reported an unprecedented growth on COVID-19 cases with an over 40 percent increase in the number of infected people. This has not only raised panic and doubt but also the number of fake news.

This week we saw the Mexican government starting to take action to confront the virus but it is mostly the private sector that has taken action to prevent contagion. All schools and academic institutions will cease operations starting on Monday and home office is being highly encouraged among private companies.

Before we begin, here is a real-time map of the COVID-19 situation around the world.

For people living in Mexico, here is the official list of laboratories authorized by the Ministry of Health to administer the COVID-19 test.

Ready for your news fix? Here’s the Week in Health!


After a 46 percent increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in just one day, the official number of infected people in Mexico rose to 164, with 448 suspicious. 

The first official death related to COVID-19 in Mexico was registered on March 18 at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER). The victim suffered from diabetes and obesity; he was 41 years old.

There is another suspicious death related to COVID-19 registered yesterday in Durango. The government has made a statement on it but the cause of death is not official yet.

On Monday INER workers protested outside the building for the lack of protocols to attend this sanitary contingency. They declared their ignorance on protocols to follow regarding COVID-19 cases and also the lack of general supplies and infrastructure at the Institute. According to the authorities, INER is the referenced facility to go to when presenting COVID-19 symptoms.

President López Obrador announced Plan DN III that includes military force to support medical staff and institutions to confront the virus. 

States are taking action on their own. One of the most remarkable alliances for containment comes from northeastern states.

As for the private sector, CCE asked president López Obrador to grant fiscal support to companies to avoid job cuts and a decrease in economic activity. 

AMIS declared that the insurance sector has sufficient capital and solvency to face any epidemic and pandemic.  

The Director General of the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control declared that Mexico has the capacity to face Phase 2 and 3 of the COVID-19 outbreak. He stated that the country has 121,435 hospital beds, 2,053 mechanical ventilators and 82,892 doctor's offices in 33,119 medical units, including private centers, to brave the situation.

To take individual preventive action, here is the list of states that have confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Minister of Education, Esteban Moctezuma, together with Deputy Minister of Health, Hugo Lopez-Gatell announced the preventive actions the Ministry of Education is taking to confront the virus.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, announced that Mexico and the US are not closing the border. Restrictions will be enforced in terms of tourism but no commercial flow will be restricted. 

The US Embassy in Mexico had previously announced the temporary suspension of its consular services

AICM will close only if we enter Phase 3 of the pandemic but protocols have already been announced


The US is effectively trying to contain the virus as it announced advances on a vaccine to stop the COVID-19 infection.

There are already 10,000 deaths related to COVID-19.

Italy overtakes China in the number of deaths related to COVID-19. Yesterday, Italy had the worst day since the beginning of the pandemic, while China reported no new cases that same day. 

Spain calls for help from retired medical staff to confront crisis as their health system is being surpassed. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s plan to face the situation.

France announced its support plan for workers and private companies. Actions include even the nationalization of some companies.

Not everything could be that bad, right? In the absence of normal human activity, the canals of Venice are clearing, air pollution in China has reduced and groups of monkeys in Thailand go to the streets for food that once came from tourists.


PEMEX faces accusations for supplying contaminated medicines to their workers. As the investigation continues, so do the number of deaths. 

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst