Mexicali (Agenzia Fides) – The southern border of California, in the United States, is where many citizens of the United States arrive who live in Mexico for different reasons. Retirees who live alone or with their family, who continue to live in Mexico for work or social life, in the face of the health emergency and with the news that the hospitals in Mexico are collapsing due to Covid-19, have now left for California.
Mexicali, the capital of Baja California, has the third highest confirmed number of Covid-19 cases in Mexico.
Other California border regions are heavily trafficked, with thousands of trucks and workers passing through them every day back and forth. Infections in the city of Imperial are on the rise and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has tripled during the month of May. Mexicali fire department chief Rubén Osuna explained to the press that his paramedics sometimes have to wait hours to transfer suspected Covid-19 patients to hospitals because emergency rooms are overcrowded. Some are not admitted, three or four suspected coronavirus patients die every day in their homes in the city.
"It is amazing how this disease has taught us that borders do not exist", said Adolphe Edward, executive director of the Regional Health Center. The hospital staff includes 60 people who cross the border from Mexicali to go to work every day. About 1.5 million Americans live in Mexico and over 250,000 of them live in cities in southern California. Those areas were the most affected by the coronavirus compared to any other place in Mexican territory.
More than 300 doctors in Tijuana and its surroundings have been infected, according to Yanín Rendón Machuca, head of the local trade union of health workers.
At the city's general hospital, only a quarter of the staff remain at work. Ambulance drivers in Mexicali sometimes wait hours while hospital operators make room in the corridors to accommodate more patients with Covid-19. Some crowded public clinics in the border town no longer accept patients.
Precisely because of the continuous growth of cases in this area, the Archdiocese of Tijuana has informed that it will not open the churches, which should have been reopened today, until further instructions from the Ministry of Health.
Through social media, people continue to participate in mass and in various meetings of reflection and prayer, but priests have always gone to hospitals to bring a message of solidarity and Christian love to the sick.
In Mexico, the health emergency has registered 93,500 cases with more than 10,000 deaths, but these official figures are lower than the country's press reports. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 2/6/2020)