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Weekly Roundups

Mexico Must Lose Weight: López Obrador

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 09/03/2020 - 14:21

During his second State of the Nation Address, President López Obrador put special emphasis on the healthcare sector. Aside from expressing his concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, he called on citizens to be aware of their healthcare habits, highlighting that due to the population’s high incidence of chronic diseases they are more vulnerable to suffering severe health complications related to the virus.

The president said that at the beginning of his administration, his government received 401 abandoned, looted or half-built hospitals and a deficit of more than 200,000 medical professionals. He indicated that in a few months they have converted, with the support of state governments, the Navy and the Ministry of Defense, 969 hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the well-known brotherhood of our people,” he said. “Mexico will emerge from the pandemic with a better health system.”

Here is the Week in Health!

NATIONAL

-According to PAHO’s figures, America is the continent that has suffered the largest number of medical professionals’ deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside the US, Mexico tops the list with a total of 1,320 deaths.

-After the controversial change toward medicine purchases from the UN, the CCE has actively looked for communication with the government. According to statements from the council, besides hurting companies’ confidence, their investments and the jobs created, this decision is affecting the opportunity to promote the national industry and ensure economic growth.

-The Chamber of Deputies has said it will actively seek to increase the IEPS on sugary drinks, high calorie foods and cigarettes due to the severe impact they have on the Mexican population. After this announcement, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit criticized the exact timing at which they are seeking to implement the initiative, saying that this measure will have a severe impact on a large productive sector that has already suffered from the economic impact from COVID-19.

-Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell said that by October, half of the Mexican states have a good chance to be in green, according to the COVID-19 epidemiological risk traffic light. Today, Mexico has 10 states in yellow light, 21 in orange light and one (Colima) in red.

-After López Obrador’s State of the Nation address, the scientific community expressed its concern due to the lack of attention given to science, technology and innovation. According to an article published by El Economista, the scientific community was perplexed at the presidential speech’s lean and frequently not very precise references to science, technology and innovation.

-During the State of the Nation address, President López Obrador said the government saved around MX$18 billion (US$830 million) thanks to the centralized purchasing scheme for medicines and medical supplies. According to government studies, this has led to better therapeutic treatments and to increased healthcare coverage for more patients. López Obrador stated that 66 percent of the value of drug purchases were made with international suppliers, including those with production plants in the country. The rest was awarded to national suppliers.

INTERNATIONAL

-As part of its efforts to confront COVID-19 and build future strategies, WHO has created an independent panel to analyze and investigate the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the members for this panel includes former President of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo.

 -Chinese scientists from the pharmaceutical company Sinopharm arrived in Peru to begin COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials on 6,000 volunteers. These volunteers will be divided into three groups and will receive three different developments, one will receive the Wuhan strain, another the Beijing strain and the third a placebo.

-Apple and Google have released a new system of notifications to protect users from COVID-19 contagion. According to their announcements, both companies are developing a location and warning system to track COVID-19 cases and warn other users in case of proximity to an infected person. The initiative seeks to be applied in some states of the US

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Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst