Former SJ medical director: Gov’t must seize opportunity to enforce COVID-19 controls

By John McPhaul

Dr. Ibrahim Pérez, a former medical director of the municipality of San Juan, said Monday that once the electoral process has concluded, the Puerto Rico government has the opportunity to enforce the executive orders issued to prevent coronavirus infections and limit the spread of COVID-19.

“The government now has a great opportunity to enforce compliance with the [executive] orders, but obviously if that doesn’t happen, you can’t wait, as the order says, into December,” Pérez said in an interview on “Pegaos en la Mañana” on Radio Isla 1320 AM. “If this [the executive order that went into force Monday] in one or two weeks does not have a noticeable effect, which can be felt, [then] more drastic action must be taken because this can generate a much more serious situation, which can put hospital capacity at risk.”

The doctor pointed out that the most recent executive orders have “not been fully complied with or monitored,” which he warned may also happen with the latest order.

Pérez urged the central government to provide scientific evidence regarding the places with the greatest rates of COVID-19 infection.

On Monday the island Health Department reported seven deaths from COVID-19, while 434 confirmed cases, 71 probable and another 232 suspected were registered.

Some 533 people are hospitalized, 18 more than on Sunday. There are 83 patients in intensive care, seven fewer than the day before and 66 people on a ventilator, the same number as on Sunday.

The death toll from COVID-19 in Puerto Rico stood at 942 people as of Monday’s report.