- Mexico has over 1.7 million coronavirus infection cases.
- The nation has received just over 760,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses.
- Mexico’s healthcare system is overwhelmed.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has tested positive for COVID-19. He relayed this via a tweet on Sunday in which he indicated that the symptoms were mild. He remained optimistic about getting back to work soon. The president has over the past year been criticized for failing to adhere to precautionary measures.
“I regret to inform you that I am infected with COVID-19. The symptoms are mild but I am already under medical treatment. As always, I am optimistic. We will all move forward,” he said.
AMLO has been faulted for failing to close down the economy in the face of rising coronavirus cases, and for not wearing a mask. So far, over 150,000 people have died in Mexico due to the malady.
In December, he berated Mexican politicians who imposed lockdowns and curfews in their areas of jurisdiction and referred to them as dictators.
“A lot of them are letting their authoritarian instincts show. The fundamental thing is to guarantee liberty,” he said.
AMLO’s comments came after Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) admonished the Mexican leadership in one of his statements. He said that the country was in bad shape and urged the Mexican administration to take the deadly virus seriously.
“We would like to ask Mexico to be very serious. We have said it in general, wearing a mask is important, hygiene is important and physical distancing is important and we expect leaders to be examples,” he said.
While some local governments used the police to enforce coronavirus prevention measures such as wearing masks, President López Obrador said that such measures were voluntary.
The Situation in Mexico
Mexico currently has over 1.79 million coronavirus infection cases and the numbers continue to rise. On Tuesday, the nation recorded just over 17,000 cases. The escalating number of infections is weighing heavily on the nation’s healthcare system, which is currently working beyond its functional amplitude.
As things stand, hospital beds in many states are filled at near capacity. Some essential healthcare items, such as oxygen tanks and ventilators, are also in short supply, a reality that has contributed to the climbing death toll.
To overcome this problem, the Mexican government has shifted its focus to acquiring coronavirus vaccines, as this seems to be the only way out.
The nation has already received about 760,000 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. It was initially supposed to get 1.5 million doses, but Pfizer issued a statement indicating that it was unable to meet the goal. A remodeling of its facility in Europe was cited as the cause for the delay in production.
While Mexican government officials have downplayed the impact of the delay, health experts have indicated that the setback could cause problems for those needing a second dose in three weeks time as recommended by Pfizer.
According to Hugo Lopez-Gatell, Mexico’s deputy health minister, the second shot could be delayed by about 35 days.