April 3, 2020

300 Palabras

By Mario Melgar-Adalid

Mexico and the Coronavirus

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted Mexico and many other countries throughout the world. With that said, it appears the impact in Mexico has been delayed as compared to what has already happened in China, Italy and other countries. This led the Mexican government to design a precautionary strategy, which has not been entirely understood by Mexican society. Users of social media, the press and mass media outlets have been particularly critical of the measures, or lack thereof, to contain the pandemic. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has faced harsh criticism for initially trying to maintain an optimistic attitude, initially rejecting specific policy proposals, such as the avoidance of physical contact through social distancing. Mexican health authorities have articulated the three stages that the pandemic will cycle through in Mexico: the first (importation) led authorities to try to prevent the spread by promoting hand washing and the avoidance of physical contact with others. The second, (community transmission) was then cited, with an emphasis on the official proposal to stay home. Because it was foreseeable that the cases of infection would increase, measures were taken such as suspending classes, promoting working from home and cancelling large events. The third and final stage (epidemiological) will affect thousands of people in various parts of the country and, as a result, drastic health protocols will be implemented, including a general and mandatory quarantine.

The involvement of Mexico’s General Health Council, the constitutional body authorized to deal with health emergencies such as the current ongoing one in Mexico and throughout the world, will be of enormous help and is expected to promote a more calm attitude among the Mexican population. Notably, the Health Council is comprised of federal and state government officials, and includes the participation of universities, academics in the medical field, and scientists. The Health Council’s determinations will give much needed guidance and orientation to Mexico’s populace in light of the complications from this viral phenomenon, which is affecting the entire world.


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Issue 147-Jan/Feb 2020