By Diego Oré and Ana Isabel Martinez
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – At least five of Mexico City’s largest private hospitals have filled up with coronavirus patients and have no room for new ones, doctors and hospital workers said on Tuesday, though more than 100 other medical centers have available beds.
The ABC medical center, Medica Sur, Hospital Español and two of the Angeles group of hospitals were no longer receiving patients with COVID-19, the disease transmitted by the novel coronavirus.
“Currently, we have no available beds,” said a worker at ABC, adding that availability of the 150 beds for coronavirus patients is “variable”.
The situation was similar at Medica Sur, Hospital Español and the two Angeles hospitals, according to doctors and workers contacted by Reuters and who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak on the record.
A doctor at ABC said 37 of the medical center’s 40 respirators were being used.
The National Association of Private Hospitals said there are 1,052 beds and 363 intensive care units with respirators across 100 Mexican medical centers to treat coronavirus patients.
The association’s president, Mario Gonzalez, said demand for beds is increasingly rapidly as the virus spreads in Mexico City.
Mexico has confirmed 16,752 coronavirus cases and 1,569 deaths, with the capital accounting for 4,400 of the cases and 348 of the deaths, the most of anywhere in the country.
The government has said the real number of infected people is significantly higher than the tally of confirmed cases.
Overall, Mexico City still had 42% of its general hospital beds available and 67% of beds with respirators, the Mexican government’s head of epidemiology, Jose Luis Alomia, told a news conference late on Tuesday.
“The National Health System still has beds available to be able to attend these type of patients,” said Alomia. “But, as the cases increase … we may see a decrease in the availability of beds.”
(Reporting by Diego Ore and Ana Isabel Gonzalez; Additional reporting by Noe Torres; Writing by Anthony Esposito)