This week, the Dignified Vacations Decree was published on the DOF, doubling the vacation days Mexican workers are entitled to. The sixth wave of COVID-19 has led to 28,000 active cases in Mexico while the cases of acute respiratory infections (ARI) have increased by 88 percent compared to last year.
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China Sees Booking Rush as COVID-19 Restrictions Ease
After almost three years, China has suspended the zero COVID-19 transmission policy. This has caused a peak in demand for international flights, as this change will facilitate returning home for people going abroad. Only half an hour after the news, the demand for cross-border destinations grew tenfold, while outbound flight booking increased by 254 percent when compared to the previous day, according to data from travel platform Critp’s and Trip.com, respectively.
This shift will also have a serious impact on the country’s health. International health experts expect millions of daily infections and forecast at least 1 million COVID-19 deaths during 2023, as reported by Reuters.
Extended Vacations / Healthcare System Progresses
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed the Dignified Vacations Decree on Dec. 26, 2022, which was later published on Dec.27, 2022 on the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF). Starting 2023, the vacation days that Mexican workers are entitled to will double from six to 12 days, increasing by two working days, up to twenty, for each subsequent year of service.
Respiratory Diseases on the Rise
After eight weeks of increases in COVID-19 cases, Deputy Minister of Health Promotion Hugo López-Gatell said it is important to remain vigilant. He added that influenza has recorded higher peaks than in previous years, after the period in 2020, when there was practically no influenza due to isolation measures. López-Gatell highlighted that there are enough vaccines for the country and that these were acquired on time.
Healthcare System Progresses
Director General of IMSS Zoé Robledo accused past administrations of 30 years of neglect against the healthcare system. "Mexico became the champion of diseases that could have been prevented," he said. However, President López Obrador highlighted that the country is progressing. “By the end of next year, we will already have a public healthcare system similar to Denmark’s and it may be even better. We are going to guarantee a quality healthcare system for all.”
Acute Respiratory Infections Increase 88 Percent
The Ministry of Health (SSA) reported that, since the beginning of the winter season, cases of acute respiratory infections (ARI) have increased 88.6 percent in comparison to 2022. Additionally, the sixth wave of COVID-19 accounts for more than 28,000 active cases caused by Omicron sub-variants in the country. López Obrador said that there is nothing to worry about as long as general preventive measures are applied by the population.
Mexico Will Have a First-Class Public Health System: AMLO
López Obrador stated that the shortage of medical specialists in Mexico has been addressed by recruiting professionals from other countries. He explained that the public university system had previously rejected many students who were seeking to become general practitioners, leading to a shortage in the field. However, he said that Cuba came to Mexico's aid and sent over 500 specialists to help address this issue.
The president explained that the current administration’s goal is to focus on fixing the health center, medical units and hospitals infrastructure, as past administrations aimed to make health and education a privilege rather than a right.