How is covid effecting Mexico? According to a statement released by Human Rights Watch, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the president of Mexico, “is putting people in grave danger with his reckless disregard for providing accurate information on the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The latest updates show that Mexico currently has a total of 475 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, as well as six deaths resulting from the ongoing pandemic. Multiple reports state that even though the virus continues to spread throughout the country rather rapidly, Lopez Obrador is refusing to follow any and all public health advice and is also failing to provide any accurate information to the public in regards to just how severe the problem actually is. Furthermore, it is being suggested that he has directly contradicted the recommendations of many health authorities by encouraging citizens to continue to venture out into public despite health officials asking people to remain at home. Furthermore, Lopez Obrador has also continued holding rallies and attending other events across Mexico in which he has been seen kissing, hugging, and shaking hands with many of his supporters despite the fact that he has been previously advised to avoid crowds and close contact with other individuals due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Americas director at Human Rights Watch had the following to say in regards to this:
“President Lopez Obrador’s behavior in the face of the COVID-19 crisis is a profoundly dangerous example that threatens Mexicans’ health. He has shown outrageous unwillingness to provide accurate and evidence-based information about the risks of a virus that has already killed thousands of people worldwide. He needs to take this issue seriously for the sake of the health and lives of the Mexican people.”
The Mexican government officially confirmed the first case of the virus in Mexico at the end of February, and the danger of the virus itself was already very well understood. Despite this, Lopez Obrador is said to have blatantly misinformed the Mexican public by stating the following:
“According to the information available, it is not terrible or fatal. It is not even as bad as the flu.”
One week later, health officials in Mexico began issuing warnings to start taking precautions in order to protect against the virus. Lopez Obrador again contradicted these officials directly, stating the following:
“There are those who say we should stop hugging because of coronavirus. But we should hug. Nothing will happen.”
Recently, many state and local governments began imposing measures against public gatherings in places such as restaurants, bars, and movie theaters, instead urging residents to remain at home whenever it was possible to do so. Lopez Obrador, meanwhile, posted a video to his official Twitter page in which he stated the following:
“If you have the means to do it, continue taking our family out to restaurants and diners. That’s what will strengthen the economy.”
As a result of Lopez Obrador’s statements, the federal government in Mexico hasn’t taken much action or made a lot of appropriate recommendations in terms of preventing or detecting the spread of the coronavirus. Just last week, representatives of the National Institute of Respiratory Illnesses, which is the government body that is responsible for the testing and treatment of the virus itself, protested against what they said was the “lack of protocols” for dealing with the virus. They had the following to say:
“The Secretary of Health arrived late to the coronavirus party.”
In the meantime, doctors have gone on record of stating that the Mexican government’s refusal to acknowledge the overall spread of the virus in recent weeks has limited testing access and has also made it next to impossible to know just how many actual cases there are in the country, though it is believed to be much higher than the official statistic.
Lopez Obrador was recently questioned about both his actions and the concerns of doctors and other health workers. His response was to lash out rather defensively by stating that journalists were “taking advantage of the coronavirus to distort, alarm, and question the government” as a way to support the opposition. He further stated that “the conservatives would like to get us infected so that they could blame us for everything.”
Many nongovernmental activists and organizations throughout Mexico have obtained a total of three court rulings throughout the past week, which found that the government had failed to take any kind of basic action to either respond to or detect the coronavirus pandemic and ordered them to do so. Following the announcement of the court rulings, as well as an additional announcement from the World Health Organization, Lopez Obrador and his administration finally admitted that the virus was spreading domestically throughout Mexico.
According to the World Health Organization, those who are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus include those who deal with the following:
*Individuals over 60 years of age
*Chronic respiratory disease
The country of Mexico is considered to be one that has some of the highest rates of both diabetes and obesity throughout the entire world. According to statistics from the Pan American Health Organization, there will likely be as many as 700,000 serious cases of COVID-19 in Mexico in which patients will likely require some type of respiratory support. Many Mexicans rely on the country’s public healthcare system, which currently has fewer than 2,500 intensive care beds and over 5,500 ventilators. Additionally, migrants who are currently detained in Mexico’s northern and southern borders are also at serious risk of infection, as are those who are in the country’s jails and prisons.
Americas director of Human Rights Watch had the following further statement to make in regards to the current situation:
“At a time of an unprecedented health pandemic such as COVID-19, leaders should faithfully meet their obligation to ensure people have access to accurate, evidence-based information essential to protecting their health. Failure to do so is not just a violation of the right to health, but will also lead to many preventable deaths.”
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