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News Article

Pandemic Under Control / CanSino Vaccine Trial Starts

By Ricardo Guzman | Tue, 11/10/2020 - 11:07

Mexico in control of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mexico is in control of the COVID-19 pandemic after a brief period of uncertainty, Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer said. “We are in control of the epidemic. There were a few days or weeks where things got a little complicated but now are on a downward path in all 32 states,” he noted. Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell stated that the pandemic continues to be active, with increases in daily cases and then periods of reduction. “Since March, we have predicted that it would be a very long epidemic that could last until October, the period when flu season begins,” he said while presenting the weekly Health Pulse report.

CanSino COVID-19 vaccine trial starts. Minister of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard said CanSino’s COVID-19 vaccine Phase 3 clinical trial has already begun in Guerrero and Oaxaca and will also start this week in Aguascalientes, Mexico City, Coahuila, Michoacan and Nuevo Leon. The minister stated that that a second shipment of 14,000 doses from the Chinese pharmaceutical company is scheduled to arrive this week. “7,000 vaccines and 7,000 placebos. The study represents a total investment from CanSino of more than US$140 million,” Ebrard said. Tests will be carried out on between 12,000 and 15,000 Mexican volunteers over 18 years of age in 20 hospitals across 14 states. Ebrard also announced Phase 3 of the Janssen-Cilag vaccine to be applied in Mexico and that further deals with Moderna and Novavax on clinical trials are being discussed. Regarding the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine, announced this week, the minister said he anticipates that the US will approve its by early December.

Asks for investigation into Cancun shooting. President López Obrador asked for an investigation and legal action against those officers involved in a shooting yesterday in Cancun. “An investigation has to be carried out to define responsibilities. It is so obvious that no one should use weapons,” he noted after shots were fired to disperse a demonstration over the feminicide of a 20-year-old named Alexis in the tourist destination. The president ruled out sending the National Guard to the area. “This is a matter for the Quintana Roo police. There must be no impunity, no protection for anyone,” he said.

Flood meeting later today. A meeting is scheduled for later today with governors of Tabasco and Chiapas to discuss the ongoing flooding in both states, President López Obrador said. Ministry of Defense (SEDENA), Civil Protection, Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and National Water Commission (CONAGUA) officials will meet with Tabasco Gov. Adán Augusto López and Chiapas Gov. Rutilio Escandón to discuss the situation and a relief plan for affected communities. “A comprehensive plan is coming so this doesn’t happen again. It will address the causes,” López Obrador said.

‘They want us down on our knees.’ President López Obrador criticized those who oppose the government buying drugs abroad through UNOPS and said that the goal of pharmaceutical companies is to bring the Mexican government to its knees. “They are very upset because we opted to buy the medicines abroad, that the bid has already been launched and the UN will buy the medicines. Even within the government we are facing some resistance,” he lamented. The president said that COFEPRIS took six to nine months to authorize imports so a faster approval is needed to include imports from all countries, even those with no registration with the sanitary risk office. “All this is a coincidence. They put hurdles in front of us so we can’t buy medicines, then the shortage continues and we have to get down on our knees before them,” he said.


Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish


Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor