ALBERTO AZCARATE VARELA
THE BAJA POST/NEWSROOM
Mexico must find a way to balance the acceleration of COVID-19 and the reopening of its economy, according to the director of emergencies of the World Health Organization, Michael Ryan assured that, although it is difficult to predict the trajectory of the epidemic in any country, Mexico is currently the fifth nation with the most deaths from coronavirus, and has had record numbers of daily infections, the total of which now reaches more than a quarter of a million.
“Mexico is in the process of reopening and in this period the cases have increased significantly, it is a pattern that we have seen in a number of countries. Opening the economy in the midst of intense community transmission can lead to an acceleration of infections, “said the expert during the Organization’s regular press conference. Ryan said that it is necessary to look at the sub-national level, identify where the virus is under control, and thus decide where to reopen. “Understand which are the areas with the highest transmission and where reopening may need to be reversed or slowed down. This must be accompanied by public health surveillance and communication with the communities. To some extent, this depends on trust. There must be clear and consistent messages about the risks from the authorities and leaders, we have to be honest with the communities about the level of the epidemic”, he added.
The director of emergencies also explained that if communities return to normal activity and public health surveillance is weak to identify and track cases quickly, it could reach a level where the number of infections exceeds the capacity of the health system. “We do not want to return to the situation that we saw (in some countries) at the beginning in February and March where health systems failed due to the number of infected people. We have to try to avoid this at all costs”, he said.
Ryan also said that he understands the situation of many families in Mexico and other countries, who depend on day-to-day life to survive and feed their own, and the challenge that this represents for governments. “But we have to find a way to balance the acceleration of COVID-19 with the reopening of the economy, because it is clear that opening under these conditions can reverse the progress of the entire country. A “blind” reopening, which is not associated with progressive steps based on the data, will take countries where no one wants to be, Mexico included, “he stressed.