JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) — A 25-year-old woman who required an emergency C-section is among the 11 COVID-19 fatalities in Juarez, Chihuahua state health officials said.
The woman was admitted into clinic 66 of the Mexican Social Security Hospital last month, required the C-section on March 27 and remained hospitalized due to high blood pressure. She also had difficulty breathing, so a COVID-19 test was administered to her and it came back positive. She died on April 8, the state of Chihuahua said in a news release.
“This […] is one of the 11 persons that have lost their lives in Ciudad Juarez due to COVID-19,” the release said.
Health officials on Friday said the woman had diabetes and suffered obesity. They said the baby is in good condition with his extended family and has not shown symptoms of the coronavirus, so he hasn’t been tested.
“Pregnant women are very susceptible to COVID. They have to take care of themselves with this as with any flu-related illnesses. They should stay home to avoid exposure, not even go to the supermarket. If someone has to take care of themselves it’s pregnant women,” he said.
Juarez remains the epicenter of COVID-19 spread in the state of Chihuahua, but the virus is now spreading to the countryside, Mexican health officials said Friday morning.
Chihuahua has confirmed 61 COVID-19 cases as of Friday morning, 41 of them in Juarez, but seven other cities in the state also have recorded cases, health officials said.
Of the state’s 13 coronavirus deaths, nine had been confirmed in Juarez Friday morning, with two pending confirmation. By Friday afternoon, the state of Chihuahua was saying the fatalities in Juarez were now up to 11. Chihuahua City and Cuauhtémoc have each recorded one death.
The two new deaths under investigation, “clinically they show all (characteristics) of COVID-19, but test results are pending. We expect that tomorrow or the day after they will be confirmed,” said Dr. Arturo Valenzuela, head of the state Health Department in the city.
The true scope of the coronavirus epidemic in Juarez remains a topic of controversy. The number of fatalities more than doubled — from four to nine — on Thursday. Also, officials at Juarez City Hall expressed mistrust at the high mortality rate in Juarez, compared to the worldwide average of 6%. That led them to believe the city had many unreported cases.
Chihuahua Gov. Javier Corral said there had been a communication gap between the federal hospitals in the city — such as the Social Security Hospital — and his state Health Department coordinating efforts against the pandemic. He said federal hospitals required clearance from Mexico City before confirming results, and that led to a four- to five-day gap.
Corral said the state would be in charge of testing henceforth and that results would be communicated to the public much more quickly.