Covid: states reject more patients while at home, they struggle to live

15,548 people who had Covid-19 have died at home were refused in hospitals or for fear of going to one

  • 01/02/2021
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Covid: states reject more patients while at home, they struggle to live
At home, 10.12% of the 153 thousand 639 deaths occurred throughout the country during pandemic. (Special)

Hospitals are saturated, there is a shortage of medical personnel, and the fear of dying in isolation or worsening the disease in places where the virus proliferates is causing patients with the symptoms of covid-19 not to go to hospitals until their health deteriorates to the point of death. This, doctors and patients warned, has also led to the lack of a reliable record of infections.

According to the Ministry of Health, 15,548 people who had covid-19 died at home in these months of the pandemic. 10.12% of the 153 thousand 639 deaths occurred throughout the country.

These 15,548 people were treated on an outpatient basis, and some of them were sent home to die. They went to a hospital and were not treated despite having pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and chronic kidney disease, aggravating those infected with the Sars-CoV2 virus.

The states where most deaths of people who died at home have occurred are Mexico City, with 2,398 deaths; Guanajuato, with 1,383; Nuevo León, with 1,185; Puebla, with 1,111 and Tabasco, with 988. However, the perspective changes when analyzing the percentage of people who died in their homes based on the total deaths that each state has. The national average indicates that practically one in ten Mexicans who died from coronavirus did not have medical attention in a hospital. In some cases, this figure triples or doubles.

In Tabasco, three out of ten of the deaths were people treated on an outpatient basis, 988 of the 3,517. In four other states, the trend is two out of ten. These are Tlaxcala, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, and Baja California Sur.

Many deaths from coronavirus that occur outside of a hospital are not registered because they did not make the diagnostic test. On their death certificate, they are classified as suspicious. Subsequently, the Ministry of Health defines whether the cause of death was indeed the Sars-CoV2 virus.


In the state of Hidalgo until Wednesday, 4,427 deaths from covid-19 were officially reported; 176 of them were people who lost their lives at home, representing 3.97% of the total.

"People go until they can no longer find an oxygen tank or they see that they cannot solve the disease ."You find out about the infections little by little: they tell you who is has it, if they were seen at home or if it went to the doctor if it was asymptomatic and was locked up for only a week. Although they have all the symptoms, some were not tested. Neither by blood nor PCR, which cost 3,500 pesos. Those numbers are not reflected in the health system, "said José Rodolfo, 30, whose family is dedicated to commerce and tested positive for SAR-CoV-2 in the second week of December, after his father.

Originally from the Valle del Mezquital region, in Hidalgo, which combines rural municipalities whose main economic activity is commerce and the countryside, he says that when he went to the appraisal, in the last month of 2020, there were three patients. It took four hours to pass with the only doctor that exists on the shift. The second time, to seek a medical discharge, took five hours in January, but the number of patients had increased to 15. "The health institutes in Ixmiquilpan, the IMSS Welfare Institute, only has one doctor per shift and one nurse for the Covid area. There is no more. That makes the doctor take longer to give consultations. If a patient tests positive or a PCR sample is taken, the entire area has to be sanitized or disinfected, and that is when we are talking about in one to two hours, plus the time you are waiting; it can take six to seven hours to be checked "he explained.

He recognized that there are deaths in homes due to complications in the region's municipalities, not only by those who have contracted the virus but by the general population.

However, the saturation and shortage of personnel caused people to seek care at home is not a particular situation in this region.


On January 15, Imagen Televisión broadcast four cases from Mexico City. The first one of a 30-year-old man who died home after 20 minutes of cardiac massage and an attempted resuscitation with a defibrillator. The damage to his lungs was such that the oximeter no longer sensed saturation.

Another, 60 years old and living in Nezahualcóyotl, was rejected on January 11 from the General Hospital of Mexico due to insufficient space. He also died on the 15th, after more than an hour without the requested ambulance arriving. A woman also died after being treated by WhatsApp. No doctor wanted to see her for fear of contagion.

In Pachuca, the capital of Hidalgo, doctors from the Red Cross - who demonstrated to request Covid protection material to face the disease - assure that patients' admission is increasing. However, they are not hospitals authorized to provide this care. The infections have reached their colleagues and hospital staff, but there is not enough equipment or conditions to attend.

On January 4, José Rodolfo went again, after being isolated to the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) hospital in Ixmiquilpan - where patients from neighboring municipalities must travel - but now 15 people were waiting, and it was two o'clock the afternoon.

This saturation causes patients not to go to medical centers and the fact that among the population, it is said that doctors have resigned or have also died as a result of Covid, without being able to refer specific cases. What they are sure of is the lack of medical personnel.

"What some people do right now is buy azithromycin and other drugs that in some cases have been prescribed in the first line of care for Covid. People are buying them as if they were aspirin, to say the least, with the idea that this will help you. Each system, each organism is different, but people are trusting that. That plus teas, plus traditional medicine, garlic, onion and all the beliefs that exist ", said a recovering patient.


José Rodolfo explains that neighbors know when a person is sick and know who is quarantining at home; However, there have been cases that, due to the severity, seek a place in a Covid hospital.

"Then by word of mouth people find out who has the virus, and every day it is more and more and more, deaths from Covid 19.

"People who stay at home know they are cared for in a particular way. Sometimes private doctors don't report these cases, so we don't know the number of infections in Ixmiquilpan, which is the heart of the Mezquital Valley. Many people do not go to health centers for fear of being admitted, " he warned.

The fear, he acknowledged, is due to deaths in hospitals and saturation.

Neither, he warned, are the people with whom they lived and in Ixmiquilpan have operated the flea markets, including livestock and vegetables, plus informal trade that has not taken all the healthy distance measures. He said these are a red hotbed of contagion. The vulnerable population participates, such as older adults living in poverty from the northern part of the municipality, forced, having no other means to survive.

On January 25, Televisa presented a story of paramedics from Mexico City on its stellar newscast that faces different scenarios caused by the pandemic, from severe disease cases to complications from home remedies substances such as chlorine dioxide.

Traducción: Valentina K. Yanes