Tijuana hospitals struggle to meet demand for COVID-19 meds, officials say

California

In this May 14, 2020 photo, Dr. Damian Gutierrez, left, and Dr. Miguel Vazquez, left, assess the lungs of a new coronavirus patient, in Tijuana, Mexico. Tijuana hospitals have become swamped with suspected COVID-19 patients. (AP Photo/Joebeth Terriquez)

TIJUANA (Border Report) — During the first three days of the new year, 157 people died from COVID-19 complications and more than 1,700 others tested positive for the virus in the city of Tijuana.

Since the pandemic began, 2,414 people have died as a result of the coronavirus in Tijuana.

Health officials are warning that more difficult times lay ahead while reporting difficulties in securing medications used to treat people with COVID-19.

They claim the shortages are the result of scarce supplies at the national level and with pharma-product vendors outside of Mexico.

Alonso Pérez Rico is Baja California’s Secretary of Health. (Courtesy: Baja California)

Baja California’s Health Secretary Alonso Pérez Rico says they have enough resources to purchase the meds and other products, but distributors can’t keep up with demand.

“It’s a worldwide shortage that is hitting everyone, and it’s going to affect every country as we go on,” he said.

Medical supplies are running low in states like Baja California and others throughout Mexico, according to Pérez Rico, who says routine surgeries and other procedures are being put on hold.

“There will be a lot of challenges this year for health care providers, we still have to take care of all the COVID-19 patients, all the procedures associated with their medical treatment, and we know there will be consultations and follow-ups that we’ll need to tend to in the future.”

All told, almost 5,600 people have died in Baja California after being infected with COVID-19. The number of people testing positive for the virus has also escalated in recent weeks.

Through Monday, 34,146 people have tested positive.

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