This week, the Ministry of Health grabbed the spotlight as more COVID-19 arise, forcing the government dependency to close its doors. These doors are expected to remain closed permanently as the ministry moves its offices from Mexico City to Acapulco to continue with the government’s decentralization efforts. In other news, the vaccine is still beyond the reach of the underaged population, despite several efforts from concerned parents.
Ready for more? Here’s the Week in Health!
SSA Falls Victim to COVID-19
Due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Health (SSA) shut down its offices from Oct. 11 to Oct. 18. The ruling was published on the Official Gazette as a way to prevent further contagion and protect the health, integrity and physical safety of workers and the population, according to the ministry. COVID-19-related deaths reach 283,193 after the 420 new deaths reported on Wednesday. Contagion reached 3.738 million people; nevertheless, 75 percent of the population already has at least one dose any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
SSA Moves to Acapulco
As part of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s decentralization plan for federal dependencies, Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer announced SSA will start its move to Acapulco, Guerrero. The current SSA office will be turned into the Health Museum in coordination with the Ministry of Culture. The minister said the move will be gradual and voluntary, starting with office heads, director generals and volunteers wanting to move already. Most workers are against the move, however, with only 20.5 percent of the 4,600 SSA employees agreeing to move to Acapulco. Still, Alcocer expects 1,200 workers will be moved by 1H22. Those that do not agree to the move will have to file for relocation to another dependency or will be given the option of voluntary retirement.
Mexico Among the Worst Hit by the Pandemic
Mexico is among the 10 countries with the highest COVID-19 mortality rate, according to the head of the Pan American Health Organization, Carissa Etienne. Five of these 10 countries are in the Americas. “We have seen really high death rates among health workers due to a lack of personal protection equipment,” said Etienne. Among the main reasons behind this are the delays in new case reports, limited testing capabilities, inadequate isolation measures, lack of information regarding mortality and lacking preventive measures.
Minors Still in Vaccination Limbo
Despite several amparos, a judge ruling in favor of vaccination for minors between 12 and 17 years of age and the approval of the Pfizer vaccine for this segment of the population, President López Obrador said the vaccination plan still does not consider minors. “It is not that we do not want to administer the vaccine to minors. There is no medical recommendation in this regard,” said the president.