MEXICO CITY (AB) – Sometimes Latin American dance voices on the radio – Salsa, Gumbia, Ranchera – bring a little excitement into the emergency room of the Ajusco Media Hospital in Mexico City, which is doing better than normal due to the corona virus infection.
Dr. Marta Patricia Manzilla, head of the emergency department, said the exciting soundtrack was a distraction from the hospital’s routine, where some people knelt at the doors of the emergency room and prayed for relatives affected by the disease.
It has been eight months since the city-run Ajusco Media Hospital was named one of the few exclusive COVID-19 hospitals in nearly nine million cities, and empty beds are rare.
“The worst is yet to come,” Manzilla said.
“Unfortunately, this makes us very tired,” he said. It has been confirmed that nearly 2,000 health workers across Mexico have died from the disease.
The numbers are both psychological and physical, and are as clear as numbers written on a whiteboard that can be erased in the office of Dr. Alejandro Avalos, director of Ajusco Media Hospital: 122% of total patients capacity, 116% of intensive care, and 100% of the emergency unit.
“We have not been less than 100% since May,” Avalos said, adding that a government facility that treats patients for free – has been temporarily expanded to meet the tide of corona virus cases. Across the city, hospitals were up 69% this week.
Although the city is full of hospitals, its streets are re-emerging; In some more central parts of the metropolis, almost everyone wears a mask, but in other poorer, outlying areas less people do.
The situation is of concern to the authorities. Millions of people gather every year for the December 12 holiday of St. Kannadalope Day in Mexico, and the largest family gatherings are usually held in Mexico for Christmas.
It received an urgent appeal from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday, who ordered the expansion of another 500 hospital beds in Mexico City, and stopped the crowd on the streets and begged Mexico to stay home in December.
“This month, there are traffic problems in December and there are a large number of vehicles on the streets,” the president said. “Now, we can’t act like this.”
Lopez Obrador announced the new hiring to help exhausted medical staff. “There’s a lot of fatigue, exhaustion,” he said.
In Mexico alone, at least 13,800 people have died from Govt-19, according to official figures. Officials say the number may be higher due to low testing, especially in the early months of the outbreak.
As the city’s hospitals were overcrowded in May and June, when patients were treated in halls, relatives of the dead were not even allowed to enter the hospital to identify the bodies. The case death rate at Avalos Hospital has dropped significantly, but there is also an emotional cost with the upgrades.
“Our way of thinking has changed,” Avalos said. “We learned to cry with people, to suffer with people, to understand people better.”
On Friday, the mayor did not raise the city to the maximum alert level some expected, with employers fearing it would require a business shutdown. But Shinbaum said some of the measures that had been in place during the previous high alert would be resumed, including urging people to voluntarily isolate themselves, suspending essential local government activities and authorizing checkpoints to limit the number of people entering the capital’s colonial city.
The patience of health care professionals seems to be running out. Last week a team of doctors and nurses at La Rasa State Hospital signed an open letter threatening to treat COVID-19 patients, one of the city’s largest.
“If it was bad in May, it is bad now,” said one doctor who signed the letter, asking not to be identified for fear of revenge. “There are fewer doctors,” he said, because of infections, or because doctors simply take leaves that are not there because they cannot cope with stress, fear and overwork.
As bad as it is, the anesthetics needed to successfully seal patients and keep them on ventilators are coming out. “It’s a shame to say that some patients have to get their own PCR tests and find a hospital that can take them because there are no beds,” he noted.
Lopez Obrador rejected any severe locking, saying such actions undermined “dictatorship.”
There are some successes; At Ajusco Media Hospital, one in 36 patients on ventilators is recovering after being disconnected from the machine. A child was born separated from his mother with COVID-19.
Has set up tents outside the hospital to detect and test incoming patients; Some may be sent home with medication, while others will be accepted. This has allowed the hospital to greatly increase the number of people being treated.
But the signs of wear are clear: after doing about 4,500 lung scans in recent months to detect corona virus damage, the hospital’s CT scan machine is being repaired.
The psychological number is clear for patients and survivors.
Maria Eugenia Artes, 51, and her husband – both of whom are victims – have been hospitalized for a third examination since being sent home with medication. She chose to bear the disease at home because she was afraid of the hospital. During her worst moments, she had difficulty breathing. Fourteen of his friends and relatives have died of the disease.
“Everything turns black, I feel like I’m floating,” Artis recalled. “My chest was empty and cold.”
Now, Artis feels more confident in doctors.
“Before this, the doctors wouldn’t help you. There was so much fear, we didn’t know what to do,” he said.
But attitudes are slowly changing; Medical personnel are still questioning whether city dwellers are taking the epidemic seriously.
“We’re getting more and more tired,” said the doctor at La Rasa Hospital. “In Mexico, killing people is not a disease like lack of information, manipulation of disease and ignorance of the people.
Emergency director Manzilla said: “Why do we put ourselves at risk if people don’t pay attention?” There is a sense of being. It goes out of hand, and it’s hard to keep going like this. ”
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