Image credits: Banksy vía Reuters
Weekly Roundups

Mexican Dilemma: "Contagion or Starvation"

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 05/07/2020 - 15:06

Scientific advances regarding COVID-19 keep coming and the healthcare community is encouraging cooperation and pushing alliances faster than ever. Globally, the end of the tunnel is near as some countries are able to go back out and as possible medical treatments and vaccines progress.

There is no doubt that Mexico has struggled during this pandemic. Healthcare workers are being harassed, there is a lack of medical supplies and staff in hospitals, healthcare recommendations are not being followed and economic struggles are starting to arise.

Here is the recap of the week in health!


The International Labor Organization declared that in Mexico, due to the high percentage of informal work, people face a dilemma of “dying from hunger or from COVID-19.”  In its report, ILO also said that lockdowns will worsen poverty and economic vulnerability in Mexico.

Naturgy, a natural gas supply company, has announced it will provide free natural gas to 60 public hospitals in Mexico. Aside from this, the company has donated MX$1 million (US$42,000) to the Mexican Red Cross.

Accusations against millionaire contracts from the public healthcare sector adjudicated to the company owned by Manuel Bartlett’s son are said to be 18 in total. Read more about the case here.

Over the weekend, a violent break in at an IMSS hospital was registered in State of Mexico. At least 15 people forced their entry to the hospital, harming a doctor, security people and administrative staff. This event was originated after two patients from the hospital died, raising concerns from their families and the families of other patients who had not been able to enter and see them. After this riot, the National Guard arrived and settled permanently outside the hospital. To prevent this from happening again, IMSS is now seeking to implement video calls for all COVID-19 patients and staff to communicate with their loved ones.

Former Minister of Health José Narro accuses deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell of lying about the numbers of cases and deaths of COVID-19 in Mexico. During an interview, he was very vocal about his discontent and said that “(López-Gatell) told us that we were ready in February and the truth is that the health sector was not: there was no personal protective equipment, we did not have the number of ventilators needed nor protocols for personal action and he has mentioned different dates for economic reactivation.

In Nuevo León, a serious COVID-19 outbreak presented at a nursing home. Fifty people arrived to a hospital after testing positive to SARS-CoV-2. Most of them were reported asymptomatic or with little discomfort.

The Mexico City Metro is implementing a new measure to exhort passengers to wear facemasks. A clown has been sent to the stations to explain people how to correctly wear this protection item to reduce the risk of contagion.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day in Mexico and fears that mobility will increase are making preventive measures stricter. States like Puebla have imposed a no-driving rule to prevent mobility from increasing and in Mexico City and other states, cemeteries will close to prevent massive gatherings. Governor Claudia Sheinbaum has suggested to celebrate the day on June 10.


China is experiencing a periodical return to normal activities after being the first country to go on lockdown. Precautions are taken as there is no vaccine to prevent contagion, yet. Here are some pictures that illustrate how schools are dealing with reactivated face-to-face classes.

One of Trump’s personal assistants tested positive for COVID-19. The White House has said that President Trump tested negative to the virus.

The UK is still facing a hard time and has announced a prolonged lockdown period until the country is able to decrease contagion rates by 0.5 or 0.9, at least. While numbers are decreasing, the government says the UK is not safe yet.

Game Changer is the new art piece of street artist Banksy. The picture illustrates a child playing with a nurse wearing a superhero cape. Next to him, Batman and Spiderman take the backstage. To all healthcare workers: thank you for your sacrifice and efforts on the frontline of this pandemic.

Photo by:   Banksy vía Reuters
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst