Source: La Derecha Diario
Guayaquil, the city most affected by the coronavirus in the world, decided to ignore the orders of the central government and the WHO and through a strong private initiative and the early use of hydoxychloroquine, reduced deaths to zero in a few weeks.
Guayaquil, Ecuador’s main port and city of 3 million inhabitants, suffered one of the worst health attacks in its history during the coronavirus pandemic, being the most hit metropolis in Latin America.
On April 6, 2020, a peak of 460 deaths was reached in 24 hours, with Dantesque images that were projected in all the newspapers in the world: dead in the streets and died in their homes without being able to be removed for several days by Legal Medicine; long lines of sick people outside hospitals; shortage of pharmacies; shortage of coffins; refrigerated containers on the exteriors of hospitals to place the corpses; unidentified bodies, families who did not find their dead and an environment of concern throughout the population. From La Derecha Diario we also covered this tragedy. The newspaper The New York Times described the following:
“Ecuador has been devastated by the coronavirus: it is clear with the bodies abandoned on the sidewalks, slumped in wheelchairs, placed in cardboard coffins and stacked by hundreds in the morgues.”
Today, however, Guayaquil is the city in the world that has reduced the mortality rate of the virus the most, and although it has not yet reduced infections to zero, it has almost no new deaths.
The ” Guayaquil Miracle “ demonstrates what can be achieved when all of society has a common goal, of course, while the private sector is allowed to work and articulate freely.
To analyze how this urban center did to achieve this feat, we must ask ourselves first, why was Guayaquil the first Latin American city to be hit?
According to several analysts and epidemiologists, there are some factors for the initial health debacle in Guayaquil, the main are three:
1. During the first months of the year, thousands of Ecuadorians and foreigners arrived in Guayaquil from Spain, Italy and New York , due to the vacation time in the coastal region. These three parts of the world concentrated the majority of those infected by COVID-19.
2. The city was focused on dealing with the strong Dengue epidemic when the coronavirus outbreak exploded , and grabbed them with all their efforts put into this problem.
3. There was no control or coordination at airports by the National government and, above all, there was poor sanitary management by the Ministry of Public Health (MSP), which was governed by WHO guidelines.
This last point seems to have been the main determinant of both the debacle and the solution: following the WHO guide, the Government ordered people with symptoms of COVID-19 to remain at home hydrating themselves, taking paracetamol and only in in case of having respiratory problems, go to a health home; that is, the sick went to hospitals when they were already at an advanced stage of the virus.
So how did Guayaquil do to overcome the tragedy caused by the coronavirus?
The city in theory does not have an internal competence of Health management, since in Ecuador it is the total responsibility of the central MSP. However, due to the current situation and strong suspicions that the chosen path was not working, the Municipality of Guayaquil decided to act on its own, rejecting many of the guidelines of the National State and, in conjunction with the private sector, worked in a coordinated manner to attack the multiple problems that the city suffered.
The ex-mayor of Guayaquil, Jaime Nebot, together with a group of businessmen who are experts in foreign trade, logistics, pharmaceutical industries, exporters, doctors, lawyers, accountants, created the “Guayaquil Emergency Committee ” that between May and June converted to the most hit city in the world in the pioneer of the fight against the Chinese Virus.
In a first step, the Committee acquired biosecurity teams to attend to the sanitary task forces that were on the streets: doctors, nurses, stretcher-bearers, paramedics, garbage collectors, transporters, for the people who supplied the markets and ports that never closed.
In this way, from the private sphere it was possible to finance what the National State could not; security for all.
Second, although perhaps much more importantly, the Committee purchased medicine and raw materials to produce it, mainly corticosteroids, Azithromycin, and despite pressure from the WHO, they purchased thousands of Hydroxychloroquine tablets.
The decision was not easy, while the central government, the UN and the WHO recommended banning this drug, the doctors consulted by the Committee unanimously recommended the combined use of Azithromycin and Hydroxychloroquine, for patients who with strong symptoms of COVID-19 .
This protocol was diametrically opposed to the one recommended by the WHO, even the MSP intended to prohibit its use, but Guayaquil assembly members put the fight on their shoulders and spoke directly with President Lenín Moreno so that its consumption was not prevented.
By self-management and donations, 50 thousand of these drugs were distributed free of charge to the public and private hospitals in the city so that they could be prescribed by the doctors after an evaluation in the External Consultation.
In this way, a process was put in order in which Hydroxychloroquine was prescribed to patients as soon as symptoms were identified, such as difficulty breathing, severe headaches, low pressure, high fever or even loss of smell. With this medicine they were sent home and thus the affluence in the hospitals could be decongested, which were dedicated to treating the most serious cases
In just 20 days of implementing this process, the lethality of the virus had plummeted. The key to this feat was to medicate the disease at an early stage; the doctors gained experience in the management of the pandemic and to date there has not been a single case of death or severe complications from the consumption of Hydroxychloroquine.
This drug has generated controversy worldwide. For totally inexplicable reasons, the world media, with the endorsement of the WHO, launched a dirty disinformation campaign against Hydroxychloroquine ; a drug that had great successes in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, and that had already been proven effective against viral malaria infection.
The real reason we may never know, but CNN and other left-wing media launched this strong campaign after President Trump recommended medicine in one of his conferences, and then stepped on the gas when the also hated by the left Jair Bolsonaro came out in your defense.
In addition, the WHO pushed for this drug to not be recommended. They even shared an investigation by the prestigious magazine The Lancet that indicated that Hydroxychloroquine increased the death rate against the coronavirus, despite the fact that the same medium had withdrawn the document a week later, assuring that the data used to draw those conclusions had been falsified. .
The enormous number of lives lost due to the false news against Hydroxychloroquine cannot be estimated, and some day leading countries of the world such as the United States will have to investigate the interests behind the WHO so that the people in the midst of the pandemic are not cured.
Members of the Emergency Committee, luckily for the Guayaquil residents, trusted their own doctors and decided to put all their effort into the purchase and administration of Hydroxychloroquine.
In any case, the Committee’s spokesmen assure that the medicine was not everything, because it is a set of factors to take into account to defeat the virus, but that it was very important to control the health disaster and from this decision it was achieved reduce mortality in a few weeks; for the day 10 of May, 34 days after the peak, the city reached zero daily deaths, information that was corroborated by the local cemeteries and by the Civil Registry.
Then, with the most controlled situation, the Municipality of Guayaquil hired survey companies so that together with the doctors they would go to the different neighborhoods of the city to look for the sick at their homes to do rapid tests and prescribe the new protocol established in case of have symptoms of COVID-19.
They made oxygen cylinders available at various strategic points and created several exclusive health centers for coronavirus-infected patients with direct oxygen intakes in beds.
Due to the curfew, many people were unable to go out to work , the private initiative in coordination with the municipality brought food kits to hundreds of thousands of families, in coordination with companies such as the National Brewery to supply homes, markets and also to the grocery stores in the neighborhoods of Guayaquil, so that people did not have to travel far or use transportation.
All this added to the awareness through the different media about the use of the mask and frequent hand washing.
The Wall Street Journal described Guayaquil as ” a success story “ and collected the statement of the doctor Carlos Espinal, director of the World Health Consortium at the International University of Florida (United States), who said that it was the first great city of the developing world to be hit by COVID-19 and manage to control the virus, in record time.
Due to the inefficiency of the central Government that has the competence of Health, voices have been heard demanding federalism, so that it is the city or its region that manages its own resources for the benefit of its population , as it demonstrated that it could do so well, and on top with a strong participation of the private sector. Instead of having to wait for the will and decision-making of bureaucrats who are in the capital hundreds of kilometers from Guayaquil.
Several cities in other countries have requested information from the Municipality of Guayaquil and the members of the Emergency Committee on the actions they took to curb mortality and improve the health system.
Guayaquil was world news due to these very painful events and it was again thanks to the excellent results they achieved in managing the pandemic, results that were not precisely due to following the guidelines of the WHO or the Ministry of Health.