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ISSSTE health care workers protest lack of protection from COVID-19

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Hospital workers in Merida claim their personal protective equipment is inadequate amid the coronavirus crisis. Photo: Courtesy

Workers at the ISSSTE Regional Hospital Elvia Carrillo Puerto in Merida staged a walkout Thursday morning to complain about the quality of the personal protective equipment they were given while caring for COVID-19 patients.

The employees said they have been denied a meeting with hospital Director Paulo Flores Salazar.

Their face masks, for example, are not the N95 model recommended by the World Health Organization, they said. The inferior ones they are given tend to break apart and should, but aren’t, replaced every 12 hours.

Without adequate PPE, the workers risk their own health as well as their families, organizers told local media.

Ten workers at the hospital have already been infected with COVID-19, local media reported. One works in the Intensive Care Unit. Another employee, an orderly who was about to retire, was also infected, according to a newspaper report.

The public hospital is in the Pensiones neighborhood.

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