By José Antonio Pérez and Shandra Keesecker-Rivero
An individual who tested positive to Covid-19 coronavirus on May 1st in Puerto Peñasco, via the recently acquired rapid tests, passed away on Saturday morning at the local General Hospital. As of Sunday afternoon, the case had yet to be confirmed by the State Secretary of Health, which does not itself recognize results of the rapid tests. This has spurred Municipal Health Coordinator Dr. Oscar Castro Castro to emphasize urgency for the Secretary of Health and State General Attorney’s Office to streamline results in order to define if this death was in fact due to the pandemic.
In a Sunday afternoon press conference streamed on the official Facebook page of the Puerto Peñasco administration (Gobierno de Puerto Peñasco) , Dr. Castro Castro urged that communication and coordination among the three levels of Government be strengthened as only then will it be possible to be certain of the prevention and containment work being done around coronavirus.
He regretted the only contact of this presumed case of Covid-19, based on results of the rapid test, was not effectively isolated by the epidemiological area of the General Hospital and at the time of Sunday’s announcement had not yet been located, though was found shortly thereafter.
Dr. Castro further remarked a request made to the Secretary of Health to transfer the patient to either San Luis Rio Colorado or Hermosillo was denied, stating they did not have the capacity to tend to him and that he could be intubated here if needed. A request to have the body cremated was also denied, therefore Dr. Castro requested that Jesús Fernando Ceballos Fragozo, Puerto Peñasco head of Expert Services for the State General Attorney as well as Puerto Peñasco Health Control (COESPRISSON) authorize immediate cremation to prevent further contagion as having it at the funeral home, he argued, makes the health of Puerto Peñasco residents more vulnerable.
The male individual who passed away on Saturday morning at Puerto Peñasco’s General Hospital, had tested positive for coronavirus via a rapid test administered locally on May 1st. Once officially confirmed by the State, this would make him the second positive coronavirus case in Puerto Peñasco and only death. His only contact had been with one other person, his roommate from El Salvador, who had gone to Tijuana and returned clandestinely to the city through a gap in the sanitary barrier in recent weeks.