Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador are running mobile clinics and supporting shelters, hospitals, and COVID-19 treatment centers and ambulances to respond to the medical needs in the region. Despite decreasing case numbers in these countries, the needs are still high, and MSF continues to provide care and support to migrants, asylum seekers, victims of violence, and people excluded from health systems, whose living conditions have become even more precarious during the pandemic.
The Americas region as a whole accounts for a majority of new deaths due to COVID-19—accounting for 64 percent of new deaths reported over the past two months despite making up about 13 percent of the global population, according to a report by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
A high death rate in Mexico
Mexico is one of the epicenters of the pandemic in Latin America, along with Brazil and Peru. It has the fourth most deaths from COVID-19 of any country in the world. It is estimated by nongovernmental (NGO) reports, such as Amnesty International, that more than 100,000 health workers contracted COVID-19 in Mexico. Health workers have been targets of discrimination and attacks, and many now feel stigmatized as a result of their work.
In July, Mexico began to gradually relax its isolation measures, bringing the country into a ‘new normal’ for business and industry. The lockdown is being phased out in stages using a four-color traffic light scheme: red, orange, yellow, and green—with red representing greater restrictions and green for places where a return to all activities can begin. Mexico has seen a decrease in infections for the fifth consecutive week, since August 17.
As of September 14, there were 26,861 confirmed cases in Tamaulipas state and 16,454 confirmed cases in Guerrero state. In Tamaulipas state, MSF runs COVID-19 treatment centers in the cities of Reynosa and Matamoros, and is supporting infection, prevention, and control (IPC) measures in migrant shelters in Nuevo Laredo. The teams have recorded a decrease in the number of cases in both cities but are preparing for a possible resurgence of cases. In Guerrero, MSF’s project has resumed regular activities while also helping health centers and hospitals implement IPC measures.