Mexicans say bye to 2020 at jammed hospitals waiting for news of relatives

By Cristina Sanchez Reyes

Mexico City, Dec 31 (efe-epa).- Many families are spending the last day of 2020 at the doors of hospitals in Mexico City, which are on the verge of overflowing, waiting for any encouraging news about the health situation of their loved ones both inside and waiting to be admitted.

Veronica Rojas is one of the thousands of Mexicans who on the eve of the new year is waiting patiently for news about her mother’s condition outside the Hospital General del Parque de los Venados, located in the southern part of Mexico City, and one of the few that is still admitting Covid-19 patients.

“We were lucky and got (into the hospital) quickly, but the issue is that there are no beds. They had (my mother) sitting with oxygen waiting for a bed to become available,” she told EFE.

Just like her mother, hundreds of patients in Mexico City are waiting to get a bed where they can rest and be treated, since according to the more recent report from the federal Health Secretariat 85 percent of the beds with ventilators for critical patients are filled along with 88 percent of the regular beds.

Veronica does not know if her mother will get a bed today, but she’s worried that, in addition, the older woman has kidney problems linked to diabetes, making her situation even more critical.

“They don’t know if it’s Covid or if her lungs have water in them due to fluid retention,” she said, admitting that she’s hoping that the diagnosis rules out the coronavirus.

Along with the scanty availability of beds, this hospital – which also treats patients with assorted other health complaints – has no kidney specialist who can deal with the kidney problems of Veronica’s mother and so she’ll have to wait “to see if they dialyze her.”

Added to the uncertainty of relatives awaiting information about their loved ones are the cold winter days that have beset Mexico City, with temperatures between 1-3 C (34-37 F) in the mornings.

Rosa Maria Loera checked her mother Rebeca in to the hospital on Sunday afternoon and had to spend the night and the next morning near the hospital trying to keep warm with a jacket, a blanket and a hat.

“The cold is terrible, it’s the most difficult part, and the waiting, because they’re not coming out to give reports very often,” she said.

Although her mother is not a critical Covid-19 patient, she’s still suffering from the symptoms of that disease, which she had last October and from which she had to recover at home.

After that she had problems like kidney insufficiency and so they had to take her to the hospital on Wednesday night, although it was difficult to get her admitted.

“First we looked for hospitals in Locatel, most of all for bed availability, because there are none in (Mexican Social Security Institute) hospitals and they recommended that we come to De los Venados (hospital),” she said.

Rosa Maria, just like Veronica, is hoping her mother will get treated as soon as possible because “we want the best treatment, dialysis, but there’s no nephrologist. He’s on vacation and perhaps they’ll dialyze her with a temporary catheter,” she said.

She admitted that despite the fact that the authorities have asked the public to abide by social distancing and other hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the virus, her mother did not do so 100 percent.

“She went to the home of a friend and didn’t take the necessary measures,” Rosa Maria said.

Although their relatives already became infected with Covid-19, both Veronica and Rosa Maria see the vaccines as a very hopeful development.

“Mainly for (elderly people) who are the most prone to get sick,” said Veronica.

Meanwhile, Rosa Maria said that “We’ve got to get vaccinated and be patient. Everyone’s going to get their turn, but we’ve got to be patient.”

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