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Indigenous women in central Mexico City Indigenous women in central Mexico City  (AFP or licensors)

Mexico's indigenous populations bearing brunt of Covid-19 pandemic

Mexico's poor and indigenous populations are being hit hardest by the pandemic, where the lack of testing and access to medical treatment are significantly spiking the death toll.

By James Blears

In Mexico, where the poor have very limited and sporadic access to health services and hospital, up to fifty percent of those tested are showing symptoms of Covid-19.

The World Heath Organization says this shows an error of strategy with the pandemic. The WHO insists that there's appreciably more Covid cases than meet the eye.

Its Emergency Program Executive Director, Mike Ryan, stresses: "Most certainly the scale of the testing remains limited with just three tests per one hundred thousand people."

The WHO is calling for comprehensive testing as a paramount priority in order to prevent new outbreaks.

The current situation shows mismanagement in the treatment and restriction of the pandemic.

Heavy impact on indigenous groups

Ryan also points out that the pandemic is having a different and significant impact on indigenous enclaves in Mexico.

"There are a large number of people from indigenous communities reporting Covid 19," he says.

In addition to this, many of these don't believe the illness is real and there have been a number of violent demonstrations.

Mexican Health Authorities report there are 544,734 infections nationwide, 376,409 recoveries, and 59,610 deaths but candidly acknowledge this is significantly less than the real total.

The pandemic has hit Mexico all the harder, due to the high incidence of serious health conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart conditons.

The WHO says the introduction of a vaccine will not provide a total panacea. It's also being estimated that fifteen million jobs will be lost.

23 August 2020, 15:30