Photo: Taylor Brandon/Unsplash

By KELIN DILLON

According to a study conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), nine out of 10 Mexicans who died from covid-19 were people who held essential jobs that did not allow them to work from home during the pandemic.

A total of 94 percent of the country’s more than 220,000 coronavirus-related deaths were low-income persons who were employed in the service industry, such as drivers, maids, street vendors and farmers, who could not afford to stay at home to avoid contracting the virus as recommended by health officials.

“There is no doubt that covid-19 has greatly affected the population with less education, practically half of the deaths occurred in people with a maximum level of primary education,” said researchers who compiled the report.

“Working in these areas represents a greater probability of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, due to factors such as close contact with the public and other workers, the inability to work from home, not having sick leave and poor access to health services.”

The study also found that 92 percent of the country’s reported deaths took place in public hospitals, whereas only 2 percent of deaths occurred in private institutions.

The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) reported 52 percent of the recorded deaths, followed by the 32 percent from the medical units of the Secretariat of Public Health and 8 percent from the Institute of Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE).

The report also noted that Mexico’s indigenous population, which is more prone to economic exploitation and poverty, recorded covid-related death rates of 17.8 percent, double that of the general population, further highlighting the country’s class disparity and its effects on the poor population.

Meanwhile, the pandemic was found to have shuttered over 8,000 restaurants in the country’s capital, Mexico City, mainly impacting small businesses with less than five employees, which experts say could take the city between five and six years to recover from.

The country’s battle against coronavirus will also likely be exacerbated by new findings showing the Chinese CanSino vaccine, which was used to vaccinate much of the country’s teachers and medical population, is only effective for around six months.

Campeche, one of the first states in Mexico given the go ahead to reopen in person education following the vaccination of its teachers, has shut down its schools once more as the state reentered the yellow category on the country’s traffic light covid-19 risk designation system, showing there is still a long way to go in Mexico’s battle against the deadly virus.

Leave a Reply