Before ómicron, the COVID-19 Epidemic Risk Traffic Light requires modifications to respond as much as possible to the epidemiological reality, considered Jorge Alcocer Varela, head of the Ministry of Health (Ssa).
Hospital reconversion should also be different, reported Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez, undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion. At the first meeting of the year of the National Health Council for Well-being (Conasabi), held in virtual mode, the undersecretary announced that the hospital reconversion process will focus on expanding capacity in emergency rooms and outpatient clinics.
This is because, in general, the omicron variant requires outpatient clinical management. “Foreseeing conversion and efficiency mechanisms in the outpatient clinic and emergency rooms will prevent saturation before ómicron”, he considered.
Alcocer Varela said that “we are in new times, new commitments, new visions; Given the lack of knowledge that unfortunately still exists at the scientific level about the pandemic, we have not weakened, on the contrary, it encourages us, we strengthen ourselves.”
Also, he recommended the rational use of diagnostic tests to ensure their provision in surveillance and medical care to those who truly need them and added that the SARS-CoV-2 virus changes and adapts, and we must do the same to face the pandemic
In his capacity as president of this governing body, he assured that after two years of living with SARS-CoV-2, Mexico learned, monitored and built the necessary actions to face variants such as Omicron, and it was in this sense that he highlighted, that the COVID-19 Epidemic Risk Traffic Light must change.
He summoned the secretaries and secretaries of Health of the 32 states, members of the council, to recover coverage of primary schemes in rural and distant areas, as well as the immunization of lagging, pregnant, 15 to 17-year-olds, in addition to doses of reinforcement.
He assured that no specific restrictions will be imposed, since no limitation on freedom or the violation of fundamental human rights will be an excuse to confront the virus. The main weapons, he said, are education, prevention and health promotion.
Alcocer Varela presented the proposal for joint action to prevent and treat COVID-19 infections in the country, such as maintaining hospital reconversion plans; adhere to the guidelines issued by the Ssa on epidemiological surveillance; methodology of the COVID-19 Risk Stoplight and medical treatment guides, among others.
The general director of the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control (Cenaprece), Ruy López Ridaura, reported on the advances in the reinforcement strategy and vaccination modalities.
So far, 54 percent of older adults have a booster dose, 45 percent of workers in the health sector and 45 percent in the education sector. Likewise, 57 percent of children and adolescents between 15 and 17 years of age and 34 percent of pregnant women have received the vaccine.
The general director of Health Promotion, Ricardo Cortés Alcalá, pointed out that due to the fact that the majority of the population has a complete vaccination schedule, in the Standardized Guideline for epidemiological and laboratory surveillance of viral respiratory disease, the isolation period to seven days, so that people can resume their usual activities while maintaining basic prevention measures.
Regarding the COVID-19 tests, he said that their application should be privileged in cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), people with comorbidities, obesity, diabetes and uncontrolled hypertension; health personnel and essential services, mainly.
The general director of the National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV and AIDS (Censida), Alethse de la Torre Rosas, stated that hospitals must be safe places and not risky spaces, for which she called for strengthening actions that guarantee quality and safety, both for patients and for health personnel.
To provide a rapid response to omicron, he proposed to improve the quality of the IRAG Network records, as well as the National Epidemiological Surveillance System (Sinave); maintain the dissemination campaign to reduce infections; continue vaccination nationwide; strengthen the infection control program in medical units and promote the proper use of personal protective equipment.
“Before ómicron, each of the units must ensure that they have sufficient supplies to provide effective responses, in addition to continuing to promote reconversion strategies to avoid long lines in care services.”
The general director of Health Information, Dwight Daniel Dyer Leal, specified that only 34 percent of pregnant women have been vaccinated against COVID-19, so it is necessary to reinforce immunization, because they are at higher risk of developing serious illness. and die from this cause.
During the session, the technical secretary of Conasabi, María Eugenia Lozano Torres, pointed out that the agreements reached with the country’s health authorities address issues such as adherence to the guidelines issued by the Ssa: epidemiological surveillance (use of laboratory tests); National Vaccination Policy; new COVID-19 Risk Traffic Light methodology; medical treatment guidelines, days of isolation and work licenses.
The general director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), Zoé Robledo, endorsed the institutional commitment to work as a single team with the federal and state governments. “It was this coordination that allowed us to achieve the historic process of hospital reconversion” to care for all people with COVID-19 disease, entitled or without social security.
Through a video message, Robledo assured that the work of the Inter-institutional Command of the Health Sector makes it possible to overcome the immediate challenges of the pandemic and that these efforts extend “a new idea of transformation of the Mexican State’s health system”, where teamwork and common purposes will allow us to meet the challenges in the new normality.
The director of Medical Benefits of the IMSS, Célida Duque Molina, pointed out that with the implementation of the Inter-institutional Command of the Health Sector since July 2020, it was possible to strengthen, in a first stage, the analysis of infrastructure, as well as supplies and personnel coverage, which which allowed intervention in 12 entities of the country with actions to convert 12 thousand 686 beds to meet the hospital demand.
Duque Molina commented that on September 27, 2021, the second phase of the command’s intervention began in five entities, specific actions were developed to address maternal and perinatal death, prevention and control of infections associated with patient safety, pharmacovigilance and resilient systems. response to COVID-19 disease.
The director of Economic and Social Benefits of Social Security, Mauricio Hernández Ávila, explained that the IMSS protects its workers with temporary medical licenses through the COVID-19 Permit, which is issued exclusively by doctors or stomatologists and provides legal support to be absent from work. work center, in addition to an economic subsidy corresponding to 60 percent of the salary when it is a general illness from the fourth day.
He explained that with the relaunch of the COVID Permit, to date 15,410 permits have been issued that respond to the transmission of the Omicron variant. They are granted through a questionnaire or a positive test, which is valid for seven days.
“This application aims to make it easier for people to stay at home, not go out to do any paperwork and can justifiably be absent from their work space.”
In the session, the representative in Mexico of the Pan American and World Health Organizations (PAHO/WHO), Cristian Morales Fuhrimann, announced the end of his work in the country and recognized the collaboration of the Mexican government to advance in health care. of the population.