Mexico, free of coronavirus; Oaxaca case ruled out

The head of Oaxaca's Health Services (SSO), Donato Casas Escamilla, reported that the coronavirus test performed on a patient hospitalized at the Military Hospital of Santa María Ixcotel in Oaxaca was negative, summarizing that so far, Mexico is free of COVID-19.

To date, there are no positive cases of COVID-19 in the country.

In a statement, it was explained that the patient is a 60-year-old woman, who "is stable, without respiratory complications and waiting for her evolution to be discharged by the medical staff of the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena).

However, even with the negative result, Casas Escamilla stressed that it is essential that the population make basic hygiene measures a daily habit, "because there is a wide range of respiratory diseases that can be prevented with these actions.

He reminded that it is necessary to implement the measures that have already been announced, such as frequent hand washing, covering the mouth with the inner corner of the elbow or with a handkerchief when coughing or sneezing, "if you are sick, do not go to crowded places, use a mouthpiece and go immediately to the nearest health center.

He stressed that on the instructions of Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, the entire health sector in the state "remains attentive and working in a coordinated manner in the application of official guidelines to guarantee the well-being of all Oaxacans," he concluded.

To date, more than 1,500 deaths have been registered due to the virus with an epicenter in Wuhan, China. The first death of a coronavirus carrier in France was announced this afternoon.

By Agencies

What does the coronavirus have to do with Mexican beer?

Going to Google for a medical consultation is quite common - although not the most appropriate - nowadays: from checking the symptoms of an illness to knowing what medicines to take or what to do in case of an emergency.

With the coronavirus 'hovering' around the world -the WHO has raised the high risk of the epidemic-, society wants to know as much as possible about this flu-like infection. However, it is important to search for such information in the correct way.

If on January 21, Google Trends reported that interest in 'coronavirus symptoms' had increased by 1,050 percent in just one week, in recent days there has been a high volume of users who have searched wrongly for this germ. Coronavirus' is a term that has proved curious in English-speaking countries, where some people have linked it to the Corona brand of beer.

Since January 16, searches for terms such as 'corona beer virus', 'beer virus' or even 'beer coronavirus' have increased considerably as can be seen in Google's tool for analyzing trends. Estonia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Mexico, and Belgium are the countries where most searches have been made for this misnomer.

Despite this high volume of searches, there is no relationship between Wuhan's coronavirus and Corona, the well-known Mexican beer brand, known until recently as 'Coronita' in Spain.

People search for corona beer virus
People search for corona beer virus

45 Chinese people quarantined in Ciudad Juárez for possible coronavirus

Mexico could face the first cases of Wuhan's coronavirus, as some 45 citizens of Chinese origin are in isolation inside an industrial complex in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, while medical tests are conducted to rule out or confirm the disease.

According to Excelsior, the patients are being treated at Foxconn, a Taiwanese company that manufactures electronic components for products like the iPhone, iPad, Playstation, Kindle, and Xbox.

In order to rule out the presence of coronavirus 2019nCoV, they are currently staying in the maquiladora's bedroom area and receiving medical attention; so far, not a single case of the disease has been confirmed, and the measures taken are considered routine.

Consulted by the newspaper, the Health Secretariat of the State of Chihuahua said they have no further knowledge about the situation in the maquiladora of Foxconn but are keeping an eye on it to support the company's staff if required, and reaffirmed that so far there is not a single case of coronavirus in the state.

The head of the Communication and Press Office of the unit, Dalia Pineda, said that the company has taken this decision because it has a plant in Wuhan, from where employees are usually transferred to Juarez.

The official added that they have information that only one person is in total isolation, but so far has not presented symptoms.

A negative, suspected case of coronavirus in Mexico City

According to the Ministry of Health, there have been 11 suspected cases in the country so far, none of which have been positive.

Through its technical statement, said the Technical Subcommittee of Emerging Diseases, which follows the work of preparation and response to this international risk, met for the second time.

The Ministry of Health (SSA) announced that the suspected case of the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV reported on Sunday in Mexico City was negative, so the country is still free of the virus.

Mazatlan ready to face the coronavirus

Mexico as a country has no recorded cases of coronavirus, the ten suspects have been ruled out by laboratory tests, said Health Secretary Efrén Encinas in Sinaloa. The official stressed that the disease is coming and the health sector is prepared.

He added that international health protocols in airports and in the Integral Port Administration (API) have been intensified, all passengers arriving by sea and air are checked and those coming from China spend 14 days in observation, until discarded.

THE FIRST CASE OF CORONAVIRUS CONFIRMED ON U.S.-MEXICO BORDER

Authorities confirmed the first case of coronavirus in San Diego, California, making it the first city on the border with Mexico to have the virus present. A spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed to EFE that one patient, for whom no further details were given, tested positive for the virus.

The University of California, San Diego, issued a statement saying that on Feb. 9, CDC officials told the San Diego County Department of Public Health that four patients being monitored for the possible presence of the virus tested negative.

The four patients were quarantined after arriving in the city on a plane from China at Miramar Air Force Base on Feb. 5.

The four people, including a minor, were hospitalized after showing symptoms related to the 2019-nCOV virus, better known as coronavirus, such as fever and cough.

Since Sunday's results were negative, all four patients were released from the University of California, San Diego hospital and returned to quarantine at the military facility.

However, "this morning, CDC staff informed the San Diego Department of Public Health that additional testing revealed that one of the four patients had tested positive for the virus," the University said in its news release.

The patient was readmitted to the University hospital, where he is under observation and in isolation.

The Department of Health at the University of California San Diego reported that an additional patient, who was at the Miramar base, was transferred to their facility, where he remains under evaluation for the possible presence of the virus.

"On instructions from the CDC, the patients under evaluation will remain hospitalized until the results are confirmed by the CDC," the statement said.

The University said both patients have minimal symptoms and are reported to be stable.

This would be the 13th patient with coronavirus in U.S. territory and the first in a border city.

So far, the CDC has reported the virus in six states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin.

Source: EFE

MEXICAN GOVERNMENT ISSUES GUIDELINES FOR CORONAVIRUS CONTROL

The federal government published guidelines for epidemiological and laboratory surveillance of the new coronavirus that places health care personnel at the highest risk of infection, so those responsible for medical units must immediately report suspected cases to the Epidemiological and Healthcare Intelligence Unit (UIES).

Given that possible infections of medical personnel are particularly relevant, it is recommended that this personnel, regardless of the protective equipment used, be classified within the 'highest' risk of infection," according to the document based on the General Health Law and which is mandatory for the entire country.

The guidelines, with more than 60 pages, establish a person at risk when they had cumulative face-to-face contact for at least 15 minutes, as part of a conversation, or people from communities in the same household.

"Persons with direct contact with body fluids or secretions, particularly respiratory secretions from a confirmed 2019-nCoV case, e.g., kissing, contact with vomiting, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, coughing; medical personnel with contact with the confirmed 2019-nCoV case as part of medical care or examination, regardless of the protective equipment used.

Epidemiology personnel who follow up on contacts must be fully trained in biosecurity measures and the equipment required to safeguard their integrity and prevent contagion and spread.

Contact covers passengers seated two seats in all directions around the confirmed case and crew members who have served in the section of the aircraft or where the confirmed case was seated. Persons who have had close contact with the case during air or sea travel.

Samples should be taken with sterile plastic-handled swabs and tongue depressors, tubes of viral transport media, and should be provided with coolers containing refrigerants to maintain the temperature at 2-6 degrees Celsius.

"The samples must be considered highly infectious, so it is essential to wear personal protection equipment: NIOSH N95 or N100 respirators; goggles; long-sleeved disposable gown; double pair of nitrile gloves; microporous tape; safety shoes or shoe covers if the first one is not available.

The doctors will take a combined sample of pharyngeal and nasopharyngeal exudate in the same tube. If the patient is intubated, bronchoalveolar lavage will be taken.

In case of death, take a lung biopsy, approximately two centimeters and three of the visibly affected lung parenchyma and place it in a viral transport medium.

If the person goes to the doctor and in the interview reports a history of being in China, "the doctor of first contact after identifying a patient with suspected disease by 2019-nCoV should perform the interrogation and care of the case under standard precautions and by drops in an isolated, well-ventilated cubicle and keep the door closed.

"If the patient presents respiratory symptoms, provide a medical mask (mask) to the patient and ask that it be worn as much as possible if it can be tolerated. For patients who cannot tolerate a medical mask, instruct them to apply respiratory hygiene, i.e. covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, with toilet paper, rigorously.

In those suspected cases that do not require hospitalization, they should be managed in-home isolation and followed up through daily monitoring until the laboratory results are available.

"If the case is confirmed, social isolation of the patient is recommended until 14 days after the resolution of the clinical picture.

Measures for the medical sector include "the use of gloves when there is contact with body fluids, blood, and secretions, with contaminated items, mucous membranes, and wounds on the skin; use a mask with facial protection when there is a risk of splashing blood and body fluids.

"Use waterproof gown if there is a risk of splashing to prevent contamination of skin and clothing; transport contaminated clothing in red plastic bags; use rigid containers (BIPR) for disposal of needles and sharps; never re-cap needles.

Recommendations for entry points

Currently "it is not known whether people without respiratory symptoms pose a risk for transmission of the infection.

"Means of transport should verify that appropriate personal protective equipment is available for passengers and crew in the event that any person develops symptoms during transport according to the guidelines established by each carrier".

Air travel between Mexico and Wuhan, China is not direct. One to three connecting stops must be made at airports in the United States, Korea, Canada, France, Japan or Hong Kong and other cities in China to reach the destination.

Daily flights have been identified from the city of Wuhan with connections in cities of the countries described above, with final destination to the International Airport of Mexico City, International Airport of Los Cabos (San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur), International Airport Licensed Gustavo Diaz Ordaz (Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco) and the International Airport of Cancun (Cancun, Quintana Roo).

Also, a direct flight from Beijing (PEK), China, to Tijuana (TIJ), Baja California, operated by Hainan Airlines, has been identified, which arrives twice a week. The surveillance and activities carried out in our country on a routine basis by the international health services should be intensified, with a special interest in flights from the People's Republic of China and possible specific connections with the city of Wuhan.

If required, the international health services at points of entry, in addition to routine surveillance, could conduct entry assessments with emphasis on travelers from countries where cases of the disease have been confirmed.

Such examinations may be conducted through interviews with travelers who meet the operational definition of a suspect case, with special emphasis on respiratory symptoms and travel history.

Thermal controls: evidence has shown that temperature detection to identify possible suspects at points of entry is not highly effective and requires a substantial investment of resources. However, ideally, this type of detection can be done with infra-red medical thermometers if the point of entry has the capacity to do so.

NEW CORONAVIRUS EMERGES AS ANOTHER ECONOMIC STUMBLING BLOCK IN LATIN AMERICA

The new coronavirus has not yet reached Latin America but the Chinese health crisis is already looming as another economic stumbling block for the region.

With tens of millions of people confined to their homes, several industrial provinces paralyzed and severe transport restrictions, demand in China will tend to decline and that will impact foreign trade, said analysts and international organizations.

For Latin America, which has been growing less for five years and stagnated in 2019, the Chinese crisis adds to the challenges of economic recovery in countries highly dependent on Beijing's purchases or investments.

China is the largest trading partner of Chile, Peru, Brazil and Uruguay and one of the main ones for other countries, including Argentina.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) already includes the epidemic among the challenges that are insinuated in the horizon of the Latin American economies.

"Some new risks have emerged, including the potential global spread of the coronavirus," Alejandro Werner, director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department, wrote on the IMF blog January 29.

The epidemic "could significantly affect global economic activity, trade, and transportation," Werner warned in an analysis of the region's outlook.

Before the emergence of the new coronavirus, the IMF had estimated in January that Latin America would grow by 1.6% in 2020.

Copper and fruits

Chile and Peru, countries highly dependent on their copper sales, are already suffering because since the outbreak of the epidemic in the third week of January the price of the metal has lost 10%.

"If the coronavirus continues to develop negatively, we will soon see a decrease in investment in Peru, a lower demand for products and services and we could grow less than in 2019 [estimated at 2.2%], which would already be bordering on a recession," warned economic analyst Ricardo Valcárcel in Lima's daily Gestión.

China receives 26% of Peru's exports annually and 65% of all Peruvian copper production is destined for the Asian giant.

Chile, the world's largest producer of the red metal, is awaiting the normalization of international transport but assures that for the moment shipments have not had any complications.

"Regarding copper shipments to China we have not noticed any alterations to commercial operations," said the Chilean Copper Commission.

But China, which receives just over 30% of Chilean exports, is generating problems in other areas of the South American country's production.

Its shipments of fruits like cherries, nectarines, and blueberries are stranded because Beijing extended the Lunar New Year holiday until next week and the ports are out of business.

Jorge O'Ryan, director of the trade promotion organization Prochile, said the extension of the holiday in China and the confinement of millions of people drove down food sales.

"There is also a decline in the consumption of products considered 'luxury', such as wine and fruit packaged as gifts," he added.

Inputs and meat

In Brazil, companies are preparing for a possible lack of components for industrial goods due to the impact of the Chinese health crisis on electronics supply chains.

In view of the possible lack of Chinese inputs, several Brazilian companies are considering reducing their production rate, according to media reports.

China is the main customer and supplier of Latin America's largest economy. Last year, it was the destination of 28% of Brazilian exports, while almost 20% of Brazil's imports came from China.

Argentina, meanwhile, has China as a major customer for its agricultural production but so far does not seem to have been impacted. Last year, China bought 70% of Argentina's beef; just over 400,000 tons. That amount is 50% higher than the sales of the previous year.

Ernesto Fernández, director of the Argentine-China Chamber of Commerce, said no decline in exports is warranted but said logistical complications could arise.

"The problem could be when the ships arrive in China, that there are people to unload," Fernández said, adding that none of the destination ports are near the area where the coronavirus is most widespread.

By Mexicanist Source Agencies