A state lawmaker introduced a bill that, if enacted, would punish those who rob medical items.

Assemblyman Cesar Adrian Gonzalez Garcia proposed to include in the Penal Code an article to address robbery of medical items from public institutions.

The lawmaker said the issue was worsened during the pandemic as criminal bands had now opted to rob oxygen tanks, medicine, face masks, face protectors, antibacterial gel, and other items needed to protect patients.

Nationwide, as of March 90 investigations related to the problem were opened, with the state of Queretaro leading with at least 16 cases.

Last year, healthcare staff and hospitals sued the government to demand providing such items, the lawmaker said. Lack of items worsened as criminal bands started robbing items in several states, Gonzalez Garcia said.

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