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The problem of having other data in the face of COVID-19

According to the COVID-19 MÉXICO Daily Technical Report, generated by the Undersecretariat of Prevention and Health Promotion, published on December 28, 2021 on the official site of the federal Ministry of Health, 280 million have been reported worldwide 119 thousand 931 confirmed cases and 5 million 403 thousand 662 deaths. In the 24 hours prior to said report, 455 thousand 944 cases and 4 thousand 501 deaths were reported globally, highlighting that the global fatality is 1.9%.

The same Report indicates that until that day, 3 million 956 thousand 372 total cases and 298 thousand 944 total deaths from COVID-19 had been confirmed since the beginning of the pandemic in Mexico, however, since last March the undersecretary himself, Dr. Hugo López Gatell, has recognized that this figure could well be more than double what the official figures accuse, a situation that by itself would have to be considered at least as questionable, by virtue of the range of fallibility that the government itself offers regarding of its figures, which allows us to think about the deficiency that exists in the generation, integration and control of the information that the Secretary manages and organizes as the person in charge of the health system.

Information is basic for decision-making, not only in health matters, but in any branch, subject or activity, if the information is not reliable or is incomplete or biased, as our own government has recognized, it is clear that the quality of the decisions made can be equally compromised, as we have seen throughout the pandemic.

The most negative thing is not knowing that all deaths from COVID-19 in our country could be double, but the background of the message, the lack of control and reliable or manipulated information, which can lead us to think about what other items of this same problem we would have to keep another accounting.

With all this, it is not surprising to see Dr. López Gatell underestimating the risk of a new wave of COVID-19, with the risks implied not only by the Delta variant, but now by the Omicron, highlighting that “it is clearly more transmissible, but produces less serious illness ”, in contrast to the response that other governments have given, demanding tests to travel or enter their borders or intensifying public health measures such as those imposed during the past quarantine, with suspension of massive events or closure of commercial activities.

It is clear that this overwhelming optimism has not been shared in all latitudes of our country, even the government of Mexico City, which has suffered a sustained increase in cases of contagion in recent days, has chosen to suspend the massive celebrations that they were scheduled for the end of the year. Good for the Head of Government, it is never too late to reconsider, although it would have been much more sensible to take this measure since the massive public proselytizing events led by the Federal Executive a few weeks ago, one more sign that political action in this country is more relevant than the health and well-being of the population.

Given all of the above, it is visible that Dr. López Gatell has chosen to bet on basic hygiene measures, that is, healthy distance, use of face masks and frequent hand washing; ventilation of closed places and greeting from a distance, in addition to ensuring the family protection of people who suffer from: diabetes, hypertension, morbid obesity, kidney failure, lupus, cancer, heart and respiratory diseases, as well as transplants, elderly people from the 60 years of age and pregnant people. In addition to noting the need to continue with the vaccination schedules, which for a few weeks have included reinforcements for older adults, as well as vaccination for adolescents between 15 and 17 years of age and children older than 12 who present some comorbidity that may accentuate the disease, leaving aside children under 12 years of age, despite measures already implemented in other countries.

Hopefully the lack of more restrictive measures such as those of a migratory nature, isolation or social distancing and the lack of childhood vaccination will not lead to an increase in the number of children hospitalized for the new variant, as has been shown in the United States, to Despite the fact that this country has already begun to vaccinate children 5 years and older or an excessive increase or saturation of hospital institutions in general and, particularly, of those areas that provide intensive care services to those who suffer from these conditions, this could have undesirable effects.

These negative effects are sadly verifiable and have placed our country in the top 5 of deaths due to COVID-19 worldwide, occupying the not honorable fifth place, only surpassed by the United States, Brazil, India and Russia and that considering the official figure , without multiplying it by two, as the undersecretary himself has suggested, which could well lead us to the fight for the second position and all this without considering the relationship between the number of deaths and the number of confirmed cases in each country, as said exercise could take us directly to the first position.

Regardless of how much or little this government is doing, it is important to continue taking care of ourselves, taking basic hygiene measures seriously, without lowering our guard and without relaxing measures, we cannot afford to act otherwise, or at the individual level, neither at the family level, nor at the social level.


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