The actual figures of the coronavirus in Mexico and the sale of masks to China: the interview controversy of Hugo Lopez-Gatell


From that the epidemic of coronavirus arrived in Mexicoat the end of February, but even weeks before the first case of the COVID-19 in the countrya figure began to emerge. Today it has become not only the leading spokesman of the government with regard to the pandemicbut his figure has become one of the most media in mexican politics.

It is Hugo López-Gatell, assistant secretary for Health and phd in epidemiology. The official, from the beginning of the health crisis, the spokesman official of the government with regard to the coronavirusso , that abroad it has been called “The Czar of the coronavirus in Mexico”.

And is that Lopez-Gatell is the main voice for the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador every day, when the sanitary authorities have, on a daily basis and without exceptions, the update of the number of infections and fatalities per COVID-19 in the national territory.

The repurchase of medical equipment to China

In an interview with Richard Ensor, correspondent for Mexico’s daily newspaper The Economist published in Mediumthe official of the Secretariat of Health (SSa) revealed that Mexico actually had to rebuy masks that they had been sold previously to China during the beginning of the pandemic coronavirus.

“In retrospect, maybe we shouldn’t have to have done (sell the masks,” said Lopez-Gatell. “We did not do so. But not the recompramos to 30 times (their price), was less” he added, without giving more details about the cost that you had to re-buy equipment that Mexico had already occurred.

In addition, the epidemiologist he detailed the difficulties that he has had to overcome Mexico for the purchase of necessary medical equipment in the combat against the COVID-19. “There are personal protective equipment that is low-tech and for mass consumption and others that are high end, but not for a use so widespread,” he said.

Supply of fans and food

The officer of the SSa also ruled that car factories in Mexico are going to produce first to other countries the parties of fans needed in the fight against the coronavirus. “Once we get to the goal itself, I don’t see the problem, but obviously we will give priority to domestic consumption,” he said.

In addition, he explained that, with the participation of the Armed Forces in the fight against the COVID-19, through the Plan DN-III and Plan Marina, where we offer support of civil and not military, the mexican government is defining the access routes for the supply of food essential.

“So, at any given time, if the immobilization caused by the pandemic or by the restrictions of the government result in a shortage, we have established mechanisms. They are not yet in the field, because it is still needed, but it is planned to have a basic supply of grains, milk, among others”, he stressed.

The information of the pandemic

Questioned on the alleged lack of information and why the mexican government does not provide the total number of hospitalizations for acute respiratory diseaseas does Brazil why the SSa does not publish the internal databases of the medical certificates plus new, the official argued that Mexico does not have the ability to do this in real time.

The official explained that it is not a real-time system where death certificates can be automatically converted in to digital records. “I wish that were the case. On the issue of admissions in hospitals, there are also great limitations, if you tell me that you have the admissions that occurred yesterday, please dámelas,” said Lopez-Gatell to the interviewer in ironic tone.

However, he said that, from the beginning of the pandemic, in January, the health authorities have given the available information with as much clarity as possible. Highlighted, for example, the reaction of the press, which I was not expecting this type of ads to carry out effectively the decree of a health emergency.

“When I was in the academy, gave a course of health security and always stressed that it was completely erroneous the idea that the information should be hidden from the population. Not only in ethical terms, for the individual and for the government, but also in technical terms,” said the official.

“There are manuals and textbooks which could be summed up under the notion that, the sooner you do that the population involved in the problem, and explain with candorso absolutely transparent, adding that they are part of the solution, and giving the alternatives of what they can do, most effective will be that the government and society can work together towards a solution”, he added.

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