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Weekly Roundups

Mexico Awaits COVID-19 Vaccine as It Reaches 1 Million Cases

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 11/19/2020 - 14:35

As winter approaches, so do the good news! This week, the world received another positive announcement regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. After a year from the discovery of the very first COVID-19 case and an unprecedented pandemic, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be nearer.

Here is the Week in Health!

NATIONAL

-The Mexico City government will introduce a QR tracing system for COVID-19 cases. The system intends to have a way of contacting people in case of attending a restaurant, movie theater or museum where an outbreak was detected on a date close to their attendance.

-According to AMIS, in September, the insurer industry saw a 4.3 decrease in individual policies and life insurance. Regarding accident and disease insurance, in personal accidents there was a decrease of 12.6 percent in real terms.

-The Ministry of Health announced the renewal of an agreement made with ANHP to balance the workload that public hospitals have from treating COVID-19 patients. With the agreement, non-COVID-19 beneficiaries from any public institution can receive their treatments, surgeries or attention at private hospitals for free. The government pays private hospitals for those services at the same cost they would face in-house.

-Mexico is sixth in COVID-19 mortality rate figures. The list is headed by Belgium, followed by Spain, Argentina, Brazil, the UK, Mexico, Italia and lastly the US.

INTERNACIONAL

-Another milestone in the COVID-19 vaccine race! This week, Moderna announced that its vaccine is 94.5 percent effective to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

-As Pfizer’s Phase 3 of clinical trials reach the end, the pharmaceutical confirmed that its COVID-19 vaccine is 95 percent effective and developers have no safety concerns regarding its application.

-AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford joined the announcement by sharing that their COVID-19 vaccine has demonstrated a high immunity response on older adults and vulnerable groups to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

-Russia encouraged BRICS countries to manufacture the Sputnik V vaccine. Russian President Vladimir Putin told counterparts from Brazil, India, China and South Africa that manufacturing and distribution efforts must be brought together to ensure access to this development.

-Convicts from El Paso are paid US$2 to move bodies from those who died of COVID-19. The large amount of cases that El Paso registers has caused an overflow at hospitals, forcing non-COVID patients to go to other hospitals of the state of Texas.

-Treating depression through psilocybin is now allowed in Canada. This type of therapy was allowed in Canada to treat terminal-disease patients but its use for depression was recently approved. Psilocybin I, extracted from the commonly called “magic mushrooms,” was first discovered in Mexico as part of indigenous rituals.

-Congo announced the end of its 11th Ebola outbreak, which began after a two-year period of free contagion and cases. This last outbreak began in June, shortly after the first cases of COVID-19 were registered in that same country. Since then, this outbreak brought 55 deaths, 119 confirmed cases and 74 recoveries. On June 25, the government of Congo had declared the end of the second most deathly Ebola outbreak. However, this 11th wave was not related to that previous one.

-Japanese scientists advance on the development of a treatment targeted to kill cancer cells. They discovered a method to synthesize organic compounds that are four times more fatal to cancer cells and leave non-cancer cells unharmed.

-In the US, Amazon launched its online pharmacy service, which allows prescription medicines to be supplied. Doctors are able to send the prescription directly to the platform and members of the Prime service can get up to an 80 percent discount on generic medicines and 40 percent on prescribed branded drugs. The service works with most insurance services and offers free delivery within a two-day range.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst