A brigade of 24 doctors and nurses arrived in Merida to help hospitals care for coronavirus patients. Photo: Courtesy

Public hospitals got a backup Saturday when 24 doctors and nurses arrived at the Merida airport to help care for coronavirus patients.

Over 800 patients, more than half of whom are in the hospital, are being treated in Yucatan for COVID-19. Yucatan built provisional hospital wards but barred workers over 60 from remaining on duty.

“I know that they are a very valuable group, thank you for being with us to support us in this situation that concerns us all, the country and the world; thank you for your bravery, for your solidarity,” said Dra. Miriam Victoria Sánchez Castro, head of the IMSS system in Yucatan.

The group is headed by the Dr. Rodolfo Sosa Barragán, who was sent from Mexico City to lead the brigade.

“The main objective is to collaborate and help as much as possible the Yucatan people and secondarily the rest of the team,” Sosa Barragán said.

Similar teams were already sent to Baja California and Mexico City, two of Mexico’s hardest-hit areas.

This team has extensive experience in creating strategies to lessen the strain on hospitals and improve care for patients with the novel coronavirus.

Aracely Báez, a nurse and floor manager of the Hospital de Especialidades de La Raza in Mexico City, is among the “health heroes” who came with the mission of collaborating locally.

“It is the first time that I have come to provide care to COVID-19 patients,” said Báez. “It is very important to me that the staff is ready to come to give support.”

See more YEL coverage of coronavirus in Yucatan