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“Until there is a vaccine, COVID-19 will be part of our life”, warned UNAM scientist who fought against H1N1

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all activities in the world and has posed a challenge for humanity, and there is still time for this situation to end,” said Alejandro Macías Hernández, member of the University Commission for the Attention of the Coronavirus emergency, from the Autonomous University of Mexico ( UNAM ).

He indicated that at the time when you can return to daily life, it should be gradually, orderly and regionalized to avoid outbreaks. However, it will not be a daily routine like before, but a new one, where the disease will determine what has to be done.

“Until there is a vaccine, COVID-19 will be part of our life,” said the expert.

The infectologist, a graduate of the UNAM, also recommended to be patient because, after the quarantine, cases of infections will continue. “There is a long way to go,” he said.

For this reason, he stressed the importance of following the instructions of the health authorities “we should all listen to them, even if they seem exaggerated, because they are not.”

He also asked not to spread false news, avoid the infodemic, that is, over-information on a topic, whether false or not, spread specific messages and consult official sites.

Macías, who was in charge of conducting the official communication during the influenza crisis of H1N1 more than a decade ago, explained that the return to our activities should be gradual because “if we leave abruptly and without care, there may be outbreaks that cause the collapse of the healthcare system”.

“The removal of the quarantine by regionalization will depend on the cases in each federal entity; To get out of this situation will be in due time, we must keep our guard up because the contagion can return as long as there is no vaccine.”

The specialist reiterated that in the ‘new normal’, work at home will be necessary. “Getting used to the actions dictated by the Ministry of Health will be the best, because the disease will question many of our abilities.”

Macías Hernández considered that in Mexico there are at least one million people infected with COVID-19. The specialist insists that the figures provided by the federal health authorities are not the real ones.

“It seems to me that it is evident that there are many more than those being calculated by the State,” Macías Hernández said in a videoconference organized by the National College.

While the government considers that the number of cases must be multiplied by approximately eight, Macías estimates that they should actually be multiplied by 50 to get closer to the real number of infections.

The specialist questioned the number of diagnostic tests carried out in the country, currently less than 100,000 tests nationally since the beginning of the pandemic, an amount that most states north of the border process daily.

“Mexico has done less testing than Pakistan, less than India, and less than any developing country. I believe that there is an original sin in the way to stop this pandemic. It has been said that it is okay (to do fewer tests) because Mexico has another scheme.”

Compared to other countries, he does believe that laboratory tests are essential so that this epidemic can be better controlled, “so that we can return to a certain normality and so that we take advantage of the great infrastructure that Mexico has in diagnosis, which depends on the INDRE and state laboratories, but not only to keep the Sentinel system, ” he assured.

According to the figures from the Federal Ministry of Health presented on Wednesday, May 6, Mexico reached 27,634 accumulated cases and 2,704 deaths from COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health has estimated the maximum point of infection on May 8, which coincides with the weekend of shopping and festivities for Mother’s Day.

Given the risk of crowds, mayors in Mexico City, and municipalities of other entities, such as the State of Mexico and Nuevo León, have ordered the closure of cemeteries, patisseries, and flower shops.

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