Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Mexico reaches 1 million virus cases, nears 100,000 deaths

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Mexico reaches 1 million virus cases, nears 100,000 deaths

MEXICO CITY- Mexico on Saturday topped 1 million registered coronavirus cases and nearly 100,000 test-confirmed deaths, though officials agree the number is probably much higher.
How did Mexico get here? By marching resolutely, even defiantly, against many internationally accepted practices in pandemic management, from face mask wearing, to lockdowns, testing and contact tracing.
What is more, officials in Mexico claim science is on their side. Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell says any wider testing would be “a waste of time, effort and money.” Face masks, López-Gatell says, “are an auxiliary measure to prevent spreading the virus. They do not protect us, but they are useful for protecting other people.”
President Andres Manuel López Obrador almost never wears a mask, and López-Gatell only occasionally does.
Except science does not appear to be on their side. International experts have recommended mass testing, and say face masks protect both the wearer and other people.
“They say there is no evidence. No, excuse me, there is evidence,” said former health secretary Dr. José Narro. “In May, we already began to have empirical evidence and well-documented scientific studies began to appear stressing the importance of face masks and the need for testing.”
“What I can say is the (government) strategy did not have the necessary flexibility to adjust to the increasing amount of knowledge” about the disease, Narro said.
In part that has been a hallmark of López Obrador’s administration: never back down, never change course, and if challenged, double down.
His main promise to Mexicans is that there would be enough hospital beds for everyone who needs one, and his government has largely fulfilled that basic promise — even if Mexicans are so afraid of those hospitals they often wait until the last moment to go for treatment, at which point, doctors say, it’s often too late. That fear was not unfounded; early in the pandemic, three-quarters of patients intubated and put on ventilators in Mexico’s largest hospital network died.
That resistance was what Mexico City human resources manager Lorena Salas felt when her 76-year-old father, Jaime Salas Osuna, began to show signs of what could be COVID-19.

“The idea was mainly to stay at home, no? Thinking of going to the hospital was not an option, we were terrified that there he would surely be infected,” said Salas. (AP)

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