May 13, 2021

Guatemala sets up a field hospital in the west of the country to treat COVID-19

The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, reviewed this Friday the field hospital that his administration decided to set up in the western department of Quetzaltenango to attend to the emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, which already has 28 infections and one deceased in the country.

The president visited the headquarters intended to set up the field hospital, which will have 12 intensive care unit beds and 112 stretchers, making it the second field hospital in the country of five offered by the governor.

Giammattei assured that the Quetzaltenango field hospital, about 200 kilometers away from Guatemala City, will be ready next Monday to serve the entire population of the western part of the country, which borders the Mexican state of Chiapas.

The temporary hospital was erected in the Intercultural Center of Quetzaltenango, a site created as a railway station in the 1930s and which was used as a military zone and clandestine detention center for political opponents during the military dictatorships of the 70s and 80s. .

The first campaign hospital, enabled in a convention center in the country’s capital known as the Industry Park, was inaugurated last Thursday by the president, who assured that it will be the “largest intensive care room in Central America”, with 48 intensive care stations and 140 beds for people infected with mild symptoms.

In addition to the five planned field hospitals, the Government has enabled a specialty hospital recently opened in 2019 for the coronavirus since early March, located in the metropolitan municipality of Villa Nueva and with a capacity of 17 intensive beds.

At the conclusion of the review of the work in Quetzaltenango, Giammattei assured that in the last 24 hours there are three more positive cases of coronavirus in the Central American country, for which the total number adds up to 28 infected people.

Among the 28 cases there are five people who have already been validated as “recovered” but under observation by the Government, a deceased (85 years old) and a person who is “in serious condition, with kidney failure and two days with respirator, so his prognosis is serious, very reserved, “concluded the president.

The president said Thursday that in Guatemala “the containment of the virus originated in Wuhan, China, last December,” has been a success “thanks to God.

Since March 16, Giammattei ordered the suspension of classes and public transport service, in addition to the cessation of work in the public and private spheres, as well as the total closure of borders except for the Mexican one.

A day later, however, the Guatemalan president backed down and said that companies that wanted to work could do so as long as they officially notified the authorities and obtained private transportation for their employees.

Last Sunday, Giammattei decreed a curfew that lasts from four in the afternoon to four in the morning and that has led to the capture of almost 3,000 people for violating the regulations, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior (Interior).

But free movement is allowed during the day and thousands of Guatemalans who live off their daily income go out to work, while the markets remain open until two in the afternoon.


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