Coronavirus continues to rise in Honduras and acquired hospitals do not work

This content was published on 12 January 2021 – 21:34

Tegucigalpa, Jan 12 (EFE) .- The covid-19 pandemic in Honduras continues to record rising data, with the risk of returning to the worst months of the health crisis, between May and July 2020, while six of seven mobile hospitals purchased between March and April in Turkey at a cost of $ 47.5 million.

Until this Tuesday, the state National Risk Management System (Sinager) has registered more than 128,701 infected and 3,285 deaths, since the first two cases of people who had contracted the virus were confirmed, on March 11, 2020.

A day later, on March 12, the government chaired by Juan Orlando Hernández declared a curfew that has not been strictly enforced, mainly since November, when, as a result of the serious damage left by tropical storms Eta and Iota, the restriction of people to leave was released.

Until before the storms, people could only leave from the last digit of their identity card, in the case of Hondurans, and passport, in the case of foreigners, doing so with two daily numbers, 1 and 2 on Monday , for example, with restricted hours.

Medical sources at the forefront of the pandemic in public hospitals warned that, as there is no control in the movement of the population, the cases of deaths and infections would rise, mainly in temporary shelters with thousands of victims due to the floods that left Eta and Iota.

There has also been a relaxation of the population during the Christmas and New Year holidays, which could be observed in different types of shops, formal and informal, in popular markets and shopping centers, among others.

In informal markets and businesses, many people continue to circulate without wearing masks or applying other sanitary measures, which is also visible on boulevards in cities such as Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, the two most important in the country, where thousands of people they ask for money or food, in many cases with young children, some months old.

PATIENTS INCREASE IN TRIAGE CENTERS AND HOSPITALS

With the increase in cases of infections with SARS-CoV-2, the number of patients is also increasing in triage centers that operate in the main cities of the country and public hospitals.

As medical sources have warned, it is not ruled out that state hospitals in the coming weeks will be saturated with patients with covid-19.

According to the consultant of the Ministry of Health, Henry Andino, starting the year scenarios very similar to the increase in positive cases of covid-19 that the country experienced in June and July 2020 are experienced.

Andino considers that although there are now “more equipped hospitals, triages and other measures” that “contribute to the treatment of cases”, storms Eta and Iota damaged the health infrastructure of the population in a condition of survival.

In addition, Andino has confirmed that excessive mobilization during the Christmas and New Year holidays triggered the cases of covid-19.

The Vice Minister of Health, Roberto Cosenza, said on Monday that Honduras is one of the countries in the world where covid-19 is on the rise “due to the lack of responsibility of the population by not complying with biosafety measures.”

He also noted that it is feared that in the coming weeks there will be an increase in the positivity of cases with covid-19, so health personnel are working in campaigns and medical brigades from house to house to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to Cosenza, “entire families are arriving at the triage centers, in some cases with high symptoms that require immediate hospitalization.”

NON-FUNCTIONING MOBILE HOSPITALS PURCHASED IN TURKEY

After the first two cases of covid-19 were confirmed, the state-owned Inversiones Estratégicas de Honduras (Invest-H) proceeded to an “emergency purchase”, without public tender, between March and April 2020, of seven mobile hospitals , which were expected to start operating in July the first two.

But of these structures, which only arrived until July, only one is operating, in San Pedro Sula, the second most important city in the country, which registers a high incidence of cases with the deadly disease.

According to complaints from the National Anticorruption Council (CNA) and the Association for a More Just Society (ASJ), among other sources, there was corruption in the purchase of the seven mobile hospitals.

In addition, in the first two hospitals, which stayed for several weeks at the National Port Company, in Puerto Cortés, it was found that some devices and equipment were used or expired, so the Public Ministry initiated an investigation, which is ongoing.

Of the other five hospitals, two arrived in October and the last three in November 2020, but none is working, and with regard to Tegucigalpa, of the two that arrived in July, until this Monday one was delivered by the intervening board. from Invest-H to the Ministry of Health.

According to Gustavo Boquín, one of Invest-H’s auditors, the five mobile hospitals, which will operate in the south, east, west and the Caribbean region of the country, will begin operating at the end of February, almost a year after they were purchased. .

Various sources coincide in pointing out that the irregular purchase of mobile hospitals is one more example of the corruption that continues to rage in Honduras. EFE

gr / laa

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