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COVID-19 Agreement Expanded / No Government Outsourcing

By Ricardo Guzman | Tue, 11/17/2020 - 11:08

Public-private agreement extended. The collaboration agreement with private hospitals will be expanded to secure care for all COVID-19 patients, President López Obrador said. “We are going to expand the agreement to guarantee better care for those affected by COVID. Private hospitals will now care for the seriously ill; this was not contemplated in the first stage of the agreement,” he said and thanked the National Association of Private Hospitals (ANHP) and the Mexican Hospital Consortium (CMH) for their collaboration. Last April, the government announced a program to share 50 percent of its beds to care for general public sector patients. In October, that was extended to COVID-19 patients and now additional capacity is being added. ANHP head Mario González Ulloa said 150 beds in 50 hospitals across the country are now available to care for patients for free and CMH head Javier Potes highlighted that this was a “historic pact and for the benefit of society during this health crisis.”

Outsourcing in government is out. President López Obrador said that all outsourcing that exists within the government will be eliminated. “I have no information (that there is outsourcing among federal workers). Any outsourcing that may exist in the government is going to be eliminated,” he said. In recent days, there have been several reports of massive contracts given to outsourcing firms by the current federal administration. The president explained that eliminating the hiring scheme will benefit workers, so he expects that the reform sent to legislators will be approved soon. López Obrador noted that business representatives have visited him to discuss the topic, but that he already told them he won’t be an accomplice to any action that affects workers.

Mexico ready for Ancira extradition. Minister of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard said that the National Court of Spain has already authorized the extradition of Alonso Ancira, owner of Altos Hornos de México (AHMSA), who was arrested in relation to the investigation over the pricing of fertilization plants purchased by PEMEX. The minister noted that the decision was made after Spain authorities ruled there was no political motive behind the arrest of the owner of one of the main steel companies in Mexico. “We are ready for that and we are very close to the (the Attorney’s Office). The extradition has been authorized,” Ebrard said. After Ancira said last week that his only mistake was not giving money to the López Obrador campaign, the president noted that the arrested businessmen has supported PRI and PAN since former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari’s administration.

Christmas bonus donation to buy ambulances. Donations of Christmas bonuses will be used to buy ambulances, President López Obrador said. “That money, which is like MX$80 million (US$3.9 million) or MX$100 million (US$4.9 million), will go to the purchase of ambulances. The money that we high-level officials are voluntarily contributing. Over 80 ambulances will be purchased for 80 IMSS Bienestar hospitals, since they are based in the poorest and most marginalized areas of the country,” he said.

Ready for the Pfizer’s vaccine. Mexico will be able to handle the first doses of Pfizer’s anti-COVID vaccine, Minister of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard said. “In the first months that Pfizer delivers the vaccine to us, if it achieves FDA approval, it will be a very manageable 1 million (doses). We do have the logistics to handle this according to the Ministry of Health. Otherwise, we would not have signed the agreement,” he said. Referring to other potential vaccine breakthroughs, he explained that the vaccine from Moderna does not require the low temperatures required by Pfizer’s. Yesterday, Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell said the cold network to preserve, handle and distribute vaccines is obsolete. Regarding other ongoing vaccine projects, Ebrard noted that AstraZeneca’s is progressing in a timely manner for its production in Mexico, with the support of the Slim Foundation, while CanSino is in Phase 3 of testing in Mexico.

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Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor

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