Sinaloa Leads the Charge Against COVID-19By Alessa Flores | Tue, 04/21/2020 - 12:55
Today, Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell reported that Phase 3 of COVID-19 has started, which means the country will experience a "rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and the number of contact cases will accumulate, as well as the number of hospitalizations," he explained during the president’s morning press conference. López-Gatell emphasized the importance of continuing with the quarantine and staying at home.
Prior to the declaration of Phase 3, several state governments launched campaigns and initiatives to increase the efforts to keep their population healthy and safe. According to the COVID-19 map prepared by the federal government, with the support of CONACYT, CentroGeo, Geoint and DataLab, Sinaloa has 484 confirmed cases and 45 deaths, while the country’s accumulated statistics point out to 7,772 confirmed cases and 712 deaths. In addition, according to the ranking given by the same map, Sinaloa is among the five states with the highest number of confirmed cases, below Mexico City, State of Mexico and Baja California.
Given this situation, the government of Sinaloa, under the leadership of Governor Quirino Ordaz, has taken on the task of strengthening the state’s measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a document prepared by the Sinaloa government, named "Sinaloa Addressing COVID-19," released on 8 April, the government works on six key axes: innovation, economy, public health, education, public security and inter-institutional cooperation.
Based on these, the government has created four strategies for reactivating the state's economy. The first is a credit scheme for SMEs called FONSIN Emergente COVID-19, which has addressed 721 credit applications since its launch. To date, the funding amounts to MX$2.3 million (US$94,500) distributed to 69 SMEs. The second program, IMPULSO, is a complementary financial mechanism to FONSIN Emergente COVID-19 that seeks to support MSMEs with MX$140 million (US$5.75 million) in collaboration with Nacional Financiera, so more MSEs will have opportunity to access credit in times of contingency.
The third program is an advertising campaign named “Consume Sinaloa” that aims to promote local consumption and to help mitigate the potential economic damage of the pandemic. The strategy, according to the Ministry of Economy of Sinaloa, will include the promotion, sales, discounts, e-commerce guidance and online catalogs where local businesses can offer their products and services.
The last program has the specific task to support the textile industry. According to the report, the state of Sinaloa has more than 84 local textile production plants that have the capacity to manufacture 100,000 high-quality masks for the contingency. Therefore, through private-public partnerships, the government of Sinaloa will seek to coordinate local textile companies to address the production of medical supplies.
In terms of health, other measures taken by the state include the creation of a call center to provide traceability to COVID-19 cases, which will also be attended by specialists, doctors, nurses and psychologists. Since its installation on March 14 and by April 7, the call center had received more than 7,500 calls. All this, added to the implementation of an online COVID-19 self-examination test, health brigades, the opening of a new general hospital in Culiacan that will be inaugurated on April 30 and will be one of the 15 specialized centers in the country that will attend COVID-19 cases. Moreover, 21 hospitals in Sinaloa will be adapted to meet the needs of the contingency and will be divided into 10 comprehensive hospitals, eight general hospitals and three specialty hospitals. Some of the hospitals are located in Choix, Badiraguato, Mocorito, Angostura, Pueblos Unidos, Cosala, Los Mochis, Guamuchil, Culiacan, Mazatlan and other municipalities.
In addition, the state will ensure the temporary shutdown of public places and recreational centers and will work on homeschooling strategies and institutional coordination with different actors such as the Universidad Autónoma of Sinaloa, the federal government and a partnership with an association related to social inclusion and human rights to guarantee all inhabitants can access all state programs with no discrimination.