Security Halts Supplies for COVID-19 Field Hospital at U.S.-Mexico Border

Red tape and guidelines on exporting medical gear have delayed work on a field hospital for migrants in an asylum camp close to Mexico’s border with Texas, undercutting efforts to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic, based on organizers of the project.

Security Halts Supplies for COVID-19 Field Hospital at U.S.-Mexico Border

Mexican government approved the construction of the 20-bed field hospital on April 2. However, since then, a trailer laden with supplies for the project has been parked in Brownsville, Texas, just a block from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Global Response Management, the not for profit spearheading the mission, stated the trailer contains an X-ray machine, cots, heart monitors, medical tents, turbines, and other gear. Its employees fear time is operating out to prepare for a coronavirus outbreak.

There are no confirmed cases yet in the camp on the banks of the Rio Grande that houses about 2,000 migrants, principally Central Americans in search of asylum in the U.S. The field additionally houses Cubans, Venezuelans, and Mexican asylum seekers together with other nationalities.

However, testing has been limited. Health specialists say the migrants are exceedingly vulnerable; their immune systems are worn down after months of living in intently packed tents.

Because of a U.S. order banning the export of vital protective medical gear, the nonprofit had to remove tools resembling gloves, surgical masks and N95 masks from the trailer in Brownsville. It’s now attempting to supply whatever it can from Mexico.