The State of Baja California and the whole country of Mexico have implemented all kinds of extreme measures to slow down the COVID-19 spread.
Schools are closed as of today, and restrictions are being imposed on unessential travel, eligible medical procedures, and many other day-to-day activities.
Even though the international border remains open, we are expecting a bilateral agreement to shut it off, just like what happened with the Canadian-US border earlier today, or with other international borders in the past few days.
This situation changes by the minute, so this announcement could only be effective for a short period:
1) Avanti Derma remains open unless the government or the building administration recommends temporary closure.
2) We are only taking patients with dermatologic conditions that require follow up or immediate attention.
2) New appointments for Phalloplasty and other elective cosmetic procedures will not be taken from today and until April 6, 2020.
3) At the moment, we are able to honor the appointments that have been programmed, but patients with existing appointments for Phalloplasty or associated elective procedures between today and April 3, can re-schedule with no deposit forfeiture.
4) Remote communication (email, phone calls, video conferences, and so on) will remain open; just be patient while we adjust to these unusual circumstances that are affecting all of us, everywhere.
On behalf of my co-workers at Avanti Derma, I wish all our friends, patients, prospective patients, suppliers, and their families to stay healthy and safe during these obscure days.
At this moment, the state of Baja California is in phase I. Three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state have been associated to travel, and our best wish is to go through this pandemic with the least amount of damage.
The containment efforts are happening. Mexico and the US agreed on restricting travel across the border, effective tonight at 23:59 PST and extending through April 20 at 23:59 PST.
Even though we don't know the extent of the restrictions, it's been established that individuals seeking medical procedures or involved in trade and other necessities and US citizens/residents are allowed to cross the border.
Since the elective nature of Phalloplasty procedures doesn't have to be disclosed, declaring at the border that the reason for the trip is a medical treatment should satisfy the screening protocol, but of course, the decision and responsibility to travel in these tumultuous times are totally upon the patient.
Up to this moment, we are able to honor the scheduled procedures, and Avanti Derma will maintain the non-forfeiture deposit policy while COVID-19 associated restrictions apply. Patients with existing reservations will be able to reschedule with no penalty and new reservations will be taken under the provision of possible changes with no penalties as well.
As a side note, I contacted one of our patients that lives in a small town in Northwest Italy, a couple of hundred kilometers East of Monaco. He described the situation as we know it, but fortunately, both he and his significant ones are safe. Another two patients from Bratislava have reported no trouble either.
At the moment, we have no reported cases of COVID-19 in our patient base. Best wishes to everybody.
Mexico declared this morning that the country entered phase II (local transmission) of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Tijuana has ordered the non-essential business to stop operating and is establishing police-enforced social distancing.
This situation brings along more travel restrictions both locally and internationally. Most businesses are closing their doors, and employees are being sent home in an attempt to diminish the impact and the rate of the transmission.
Dr. Morales is taking her last patient today, Dr. Casavantes has been out of office since last week.
The situation changes constantly and we are just as confused as everybody else in the world; our plan as of today is to continue our virtual communication with our patients and prospective patients, and tentatively open our appointment book as of April 20, 2020.
As established in our prior postings, Avanti Derma continues the non-forfeiture policy for deposits received, and existing appointments are being changed for the near future.
At the moment, Avanti Derma hasn't received any reports of former patients infected with COVID-19.
Best luck, everybody.
DrC / DrM