September 23, 2020

Medical personnel in Mexico require protective equipment against COVID-19



In a new protest, medical and nursing personnel from a public medical center in Mexico City demanded this Tuesday that the authorities provide them with supplies to protect themselves against the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

“It is not worth it that for the authorities we are disposable, they use us, they discard us … it is not worth it,” nurse Dulia López told EFE, who was holding back tears as she remembered that her partner Olga, also a nurse, had lost her life just over the weekend after catching coronavirus.

With banners, health professionals from the Tacuba hospital of the Social Security Institute at the Service of State Workers (ISSSTE) exposed the lack of equipment they have suffered since the pandemic began.

This Tuesday the Mexican Government declared the maximum phase of infections (phase 3) and will make the extension of the period of social distancing until May 30 official.

In addition, the doctors demanded that they be given the necessary supplies to avoid more deaths among their colleagues, because, according to the protesters, there are already two doctors and a nurse who died from the disease they contracted in the hospital itself.

“We do not have an adequate protocol for COVID patients, we do not have the material and personal protection equipment and we ask for complete training for all the staff since we are in the COVID area. We need the special equipment,” said nurse Alejandra Torres.

He explained that the lack of supplies had been present since the beginning of the pandemic, since they were only provided with a disposable uniform, pants and a Philippine gown.

When phase two started they needed a jumpsuit, but they brought one of the worst quality, they said.

“It is large, everything moves, with velcro that detaches within a few minutes of entering the COVID area, a disposable gown and gloves that stick with chlorine, become chewy and are not functional,” Torres said.

Guadalupe Cabrera, a nurse in charge of working weekends and holidays, also said that the protective material they provide is insufficient and insufficient.

“The equipment they give us is not adequate, they tell us that they are N95 masks, but they are not N95, they are ones that are not certified,” he denounced.

The main argument for not providing them with the material, they say, is that this hospital is hybrid -that is, it does not only serve patients with COVID-19- so it is not urgent that certain more specific types of supplies reach them.

AUTHORITIES ACCUSE THEM FOR FAILING TO PROTECT THEIR PROPERTY

The case of the late nurse Olga and two doctors who also died have been representative for the employees of this hospital, who report that the authorities have accused them of not taking precautions to avoid becoming infected.

“They say that (Olga) received relatives from another side and she was not contagious here, when she came and requested that the test be done and they denied it,” said nurse Dulia López.

Of the doctors, they argue, they say they went on vacation.

But the reality is that those who work in the hospital consider that the virus is everywhere and without the proper protective equipment it is difficult not to get it.

After the protest, hospital authorities, including the hospital’s director and the chief of nurses, met with a group of protesters who were promised they will have enough supplies in short order.

“We want solutions from here until the contingency ends,” protested nurse Alejandra Ulloa.

This protest joins other demonstrations that, since the beginning of the pandemic, have been carried out by health professionals from public hospitals in various states of the country, who demand that they be guaranteed supplies and protection protocols against the growing number of COVID-19 patients. .

According to the most recent report from the health authorities, Mexico has 8,772 cases and 712 deaths.

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