Image credits: Gobierno de México
/
Weekly Roundups

An Official Recognition to The Current National Heroes

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 09/17/2020 - 16:45

As Mexico celebrates its 210th independence anniversary, the celebrations focused on recognizing the current heroes of the nation: the medical staff confronting COVID-19. During the official ceremony hosted by President López Obrador, 58 medical professionals were awarded with the “Miguel Hidalgo” medal, the highest national recognition for their heroic acts and services provided to the country. Minister of Governance Olga Sánchez dedicated some words during the official speech of the event. “This award is very special because it shows that regardless of the time, their own needs, even at the cost of their own health and risking their lives, they squandered solidarity."

Furthermore, instead of the traditional parade of exposition cars recalling the events of the Mexican independence, during this ceremony the exposition cars portrayed both public and private hospitals from the country. Some cars had built in a simulation of a hospital bed with all the COVID-19 equipment and staff and others represented regular healthcare attention facilities. Aside from doctors and nurses, all medical staff members helping through these difficult times were represented at the parade: biomedical engineers, quartermasters, cleaning and sanitization staff, call centers for COVID-19 guidance, stretcher-bearers and ambulance drivers, among others.

NATIONAL

-Deputy Minister of Health hosted a meeting between members of the pharmaceutical industry to touch on the government’s new medicine purchasing scheme from UNOPS. Leaders of CANIFARMA, AMELAF, ANAFAM and AMIIF gathered to learn about the ministry’s plans for such a process and the regulatory authority COFEPRIS since it has been attached to the Deputy Ministry of Prevention and Health Promotion. According to López-Gatell, he has the intention to reform COFEPRIS entirely to make it operational and to solve lags derived from the pandemic. Industry representatives insisted on keeping high regulatory standards for the upcoming medicine tenders.

-Official COVID-19 death numbers do not match with reality. The capital records a total number of 10,725 deaths due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, according to El Economista, the city has 30,462 deaths from January to August all associated to COVID-19.

-After the so called “raffle” of the Mexican presidential plane, at least five public hospitals won a share of the monetary price. Three hospitals from IMSS, one from ISSSTE and one from SSA had a winning ticket. Moreover, according to the speech given during the Mexican Independence ceremony, the money collected from the raffle would be destined to the healthcare sector for medical equipment and medicines.

-From January to May, Mexico had registered isolated cases of measles. The Ministry of Health recently revealed that this disease reached 196 people during the first half of the year and informed that May was the last month in which measles cases were reported in the country.

-Sept. 9 was the deadline agreed within the Chamber of Deputies to finally authorize a legal framework for the therapeutic use of cannabis. However, days passed the deadline, the executive power in Mexico has given no response on this matter.

-According to Bloomberg, PEMEX is the company that registered the largest number of deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

INTERNATIONAL

-AstraZeneca and Oxford University have resumed their clinical trials on their COVID-19 vaccine development after pausing them last week due to an adverse effect registered on one of the participants.

-According to an AFP report, China’s COVID-19 vaccine developments will reach the end of clinical trials by November. The two contender developments are from Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm.

-Gilead’s Remdesivir has been one of the most tested and recommended drugs to treat COVID-19. While there is no official nor formal treatment for the disease, trials on this drug have shown positive result on patients presenting severe symptoms. Company Eli Lilly and Co has recently shared that its drug targeted for rheumatoid arthritis has been combined with Remdesivir and so far has showed positive results in recovery times for patients suffering from COVID-19.

-Gilead has announced its recent acquisition of biotechnology company Immunomedics. The US$21 billion purchase hopes to enhance Gilead’s offering on cancer treatments.

Photo by:   Gobierno de México
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst