Healthy distance, prior sanitation of spaces, use of face masks and periodic tests are part of the measures to prevent COVID-19 infection in the meetings attended by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
However, some of them are not performed as the document indicates.
The Secretary of Health, Jorge Alcocer, announced this morning the sanitary protocol that is applied and stressed that “there has been no great alarm” in the cabinet and ruled out a chain of infections.
At least two reporters covering the presidential source have fallen ill with COVID in recent weeks. Just on January 10, the general coordinator of Social Communication of the Presidency, Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, reported that he tested positive for COVID-19.
Two days earlier, Jesús Ramírez was present during the president’s morning conference, and was at a distance of approximately 30 centimeters from the president.
Later he went to the meeting of the Health Cabinet, where he photographed himself without mask along with the teacher Delfina Gómez; the Customs administrator, Horacio Durarte and with the federal deputy Pedro Zenteno.
Jesús Ramírez, for example, failed to comply with the protocol by taking the photo without a healthy distance and without a mask during that meeting of the Health Cabinet.
I was very happy to meet the teacher @delfinagomeza @ PedroZentenoSa1 and @JesusRCuevas at the meeting of the health cabinet. Great companions! The first two Mexicans with whom we are going to continue working for Mexico and # EdoMéx. pic.twitter.com/OGklDsbmEd
– Horacio Duarte Olivares (@horacioduarteo) January 8, 2021
On January 11, Leticia Ánimas Vargas, National Coordinator of the Benito Juárez Welfare Scholarship Program, the first federal government official to die as a result of COVID, passed away.
According to the health protocol, in each meeting there should be a distance between the participants of at least 1.5 meters, although now, Alcocer said, an adjustment was made and the distance must be at least 2 meters.
The distance between the assistants and the president should be 2.5 to 3 meters. Security personnel must have a distance of 2 meters.
“This distancing is then respected, you just have to remember it again,” Alcocer said.
The meeting protocol encourages the preference of virtual meetings via videoconference, if this is not possible, use large spaces that allow ventilation.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, some governors have opted for videoconferences, with the possibility that reporters continue to question officials, but the president continues with his face-to-face conferences.
It also indicates that daily cleaning of the property should be carried out, and constant cleaning of microphones, pointers and all tools or utensils commonly used by the participants, reducing their shared use as much as possible.
The document details that if any of the people summoned presents signs and symptoms of respiratory disease, or is a confirmed and active case of COVID-19 (onset of symptoms in the last 14 days), they must report it immediately and refrain from attending the meeting. .
“Temperature, fatigue, throat discomfort, cough and sneeze is enough to keep me out,” Alcocer said.
Each person must have successfully passed the sanitary filter to be able to join the meeting. Each entry and exit must be done in blocks.
“Any person who does not wish to be subjected to the sanitary supervision filter must be denied access to the meeting,” he details.
In addition, you must have a suitable use of cloth or disposable face masks, especially in those people who due to their activities within the meeting do not allow them to maintain a healthy distance at all times.
According to Alcocer, the use of face masks is a recommendation that is used for those who have any symptoms and could transmit a contagious disease such as influenza or another respiratory disease of the season.
Other recommendations are: permanent use of alcohol gel, especially when exchanging documents or tools such as microphones, pointers, pens, etc., comply with the respiratory etiquette when coughing or sneezing.
Alcocer also highlighted that since mid-2020 the weekly sampling has been implemented to search for the SARS-CoV-2 virus from the presidential team, including the president, to identify in a timely manner the presence of infected people or carriers of the virus that could initiate a chain of transmission within the group.
The weekly tests, he said, are a personal decision. This activity is carried out every Tuesday at the National Palace facilities, so it will be enough to notify the Ministry of Health to include them in the corresponding lists, as well as to be physically present on the day mentioned for the sampling.
What happens when there is a contact with a positive to COVID?
“The first thing is to contact the person with the infection, confirm with the test and immediately make an analysis of who he was with in seven days, and make a circle (family and work), as it is here, and other meetings that are they have to isolate themselves for 15 days, and that is what has been done with Jesus and other colleagues, ”Alcocer replied.
Arturo Herrera, Secretary of the Treasury; Irma Eréndira Sandoval, head of the Ministry of Public Function; Ricardo Sheffield, head of Profeco, and Zoé Robledo, director of the IMSS, are some officials who have tested positive for COVID.