Mexico City will have 37,183 square meters of additional hospital care capacity with the handover, by 16 donor foundations and companies, of the COVID-19 Temporary Unit for patient care in the Citibanamex Center.
April 22, 2020., Mexico City.

Mexico City receives the COVID-19 Temporary Unit from 16 donor foundations and companies.

As of today, Mexico City will have 37,183 square meters of additional hospital care capacity with the handover, by 16 donor foundations and companies, of the COVID-19 Temporary Unit for patient care in the Citibanamex Center. This infrastructure that, based on technical analyses, has total capacity for 854 regular hospital beds, 36 intermediate therapy beds, and facilities for the adequate operation of the medical staff and provision of specialized services, was officially received by the Secretariat of Health of the country’s capital government.

In a ceremony headed by the Mexico City Mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, the following institutions: the Carlos Slim, Telmex Telcel and Inbursa foundations, Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE), Walmart, Bimbo, Barcel, Sertull Foundation, Citibanamex, Alfredo Harp Helú Foundation, Coppel, Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola FEMSA, CODERE, HSBC and Grupo Infra, represented by the CIE’s President, Alejandro Soberón Kuri, explained that they decided to join forces and respond to Dr. Sheinbaum call. This is an effort to face the pandemics together, contributing to expand the examination and treatment capacity for people infected with the coronavirus. Attendants also expressed their recognition of the heroic work of health care professionals across the country.

The Mexico City Mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, emphasized that facilities of the COVID-19 Temporary Unit installed in the Citibanamex Center, represent the solidarity and joint work among the private sector, the academy and the city government to face the pandemics and ensure health and welfare of people in the country’s capital.

“We have entered into the Coronavirus Transmission Stage 3; this is the moment when higher contagion rates are expected. We need much more of this hospital capacity to face what we consider may be the worst scenario in Mexico City and its Metropolitan Zone. Therefore, efforts made by these companies and foundations are crucial. On behalf of Mexico City inhabitants, we say thank you,” Dr. Sheinbaum said.

The City Mayor stressed that is necessary for the population to follow the preventive measures of “Social Distancing" and “Stay at Home”, to avoid the disease propagation. She also explained that there are 63 public hospitals in the Metropolitan Zone of the Valley of Mexico for COVID-19 patients today, but that it is necessary to increase the attention capacity during Stage 3.

Alejandro Soberón Kuri, President of CIE, stated that the installation of the Temporary Unit reflects the summation of the best abilities in this country, when gathering: (1) the scientific prestige of the UNAM for technical, medical and hospital decisions; (2) the collaboration of the National Health Institutes for the project development; (3) the valuable participation of the Mexico City’s Secretariat of Health, and the deployment of its medical talent to manage and run the Unit; (4) the work of a significant number of collaborators from Mexican companies, who did their best to have this unit ready in less than 20 days; and (5) the commitment of all 16 donors to collect MX$700M to make the infrastructure a reality, half of which were provided by the Carlos Slim, Telmex Telcel and Inbursa foundations.

Germán Fajardo, Director of the School of Medicine of the UNAM, expressed that” the National Autonomous University of Mexico, through its School of Medicine, shows once more the commitment and solidarity with Mexican citizens and their needs, by joining and participating in this huge effort made by the Slim Foundations, CIE and the Mexico City authorities, in the conceptualization, planning, startup and operation of this hospital unit, unprecedented in the history of this country.” With less than three weeks of work, the handover of the first stage includes 234 regular hospital beds, one 8-beds intermediate therapy module; resting, cleaning and dining areas for the medical staff; drugstores, storehouses and instruments. The objective is that, facing the national declaration of Stage 3 and framed within the national strategy “All Together against COVID-19” (Todos Juntos contra el COVID-19), the local Secretariat of Health can start the Temporary Unit operation as deemed necessary. The installation of other two areas is in the last stages, to reach the total specified capacity. It has to be highlighted that all people working in the Unit, will have personal protective equipment required to keep them safe.

Together with physical spaces for patient care, the facility included the installation of oxygen tanks with total capacity of 35,000 gallons, more than 11,000 meters of copper lines to distribute this gas in the hospital rooms; over 17,800 meters of electric wiring with four emergency generation plants, and food management areas that will provide about 730,400 services to patients and medical professionals, among other utilities ensuring the best conditions for them to perform their activities.

Experience gathered by all 16 donors in the installation of the COVID-19 Temporary Unit, initiative promoted by CIE and coordinated together with the Carlos Slim Foundation and the UNAM, is being shared with other similar initiatives under development, to transfer best practices.

Before the handing over ceremony, the City Mayor, accompanied by the CIE President, the Director of the Medicine School of the UNAM, and the conversion project head, made a tour through the facilities of the COVID-19 Temporary Unit.

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