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Weekly Roundups

Vaccine Progress Brings Hope to Countries

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 05/21/2020 - 11:40

The new normal is already a reality in many parts of the world, as many countries reopen and resume activities. Mexico, however, still faces a challenging reality. While many municipalities in the country have been authorized to start economic activities and have refused, others under a more serious context are reopening and going back to a normal, but yet, unsafe reality.

Here is the Week in Health!

NATIONAL

Mexico City has announced the economic reactivation plan for the capital, home to 22 million people and source of 16.4 percent of the national GDP. Just as the general national reopening plan, the city will assign colors (red, orange, yellow and green) to determine when it safe to resume activities. The colors will be assigned depending on the hospital capacity of the city:

  • Red means hospital capacity is at 65 percent and presents a stable two-weeks status.
  • Orange means capacity is at less than 65 percent and has shown a decreasing tendency for two weeks.
  • Yellow signals hospital capacity has reached 50 percent and has shown a decreasing tendency for two weeks.
  • Green means hospital capacity is at less than 50 percent and it has remained stable for a month.

IMSS registers 43,700 incapacity cases due to possible cases of COVID-19, most of them in the Mexico City metropolitan area, Tijuana-Mexicali, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Ciudad Juarez, Tabasco, Veracruz, Culiacan and Cancun.

According to AXA, COVID-19 expenditure is 10 times higher than any other claim covered by their major medical expenses. While regular expenses are at MX$36,000 (US$1,570), COVID-19 cases have led to costs of up to MX$370,000 (US$16,130).

The Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) has confirmed that long weekends will remain to boost local tourism after the health contingency. The head of SECTUR said that during those weekends, hotel capacity increases by 7 percent. 

The Ministry of Education has one of the hardest upcoming challenges especially for primary and secondary education. Due to preventive contagion measures, presential classes seem like a far thing for many places in the country. The Minister of Education has said that the ministry is planning to resume activities until September.

At the beginning of the pandemic, it was estimated Mexico would register a maximum of 6,000 COVID-19-related deaths. This number was surpassed on May 4.

US, Canada and Mexico have extended their border restrictions until June 22. While this measure was expected to end on May 20, COVID-19 developments are still limiting non-essential travel.

INTERNATIONAL

May 20 was reported as the day with the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases globally.

AstraZeneca, one of the strongest competitors in the COVID-19 race, received an investment from the US Authority of Advanced Research and Development of Biomedicine to produce 300 million doses of its possible COVID-19 vaccine and secure the US’ supply.

According to a Reuters report, T-cells in our immune system can successfully make us recover from a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

As part of its efforts to confront COVID-19, the University of Oxford is doing a trial of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine on British healthcare workers to see if it can help prevent COVID-19 contagion. Aside from this, in the US, President Trump has reported to be taking the drug after members of his cabinet tested positive for the virus.

The US threats to suspend WHO funds might become a long-term reality after the country announced it had concluded its investigation on the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst