(TODAY NICARAGUA) In a single week, the number of confirmed cases of the covid-19 in Nicaragua went from 25 to 254, while the official deaths rose from 8 to 17, as reported by the Minister of Health, Martha Reyes, this Tuesday, May 19.
“During the current week, which runs from May 12 to 19, we have attended and given responsible and careful follow-up to 254 Nicaraguans with Covid-19 confirmed or probable by clinics,” said Reyes.
Something is wrong with that statement, weren’t there 25 cases already attended to from previous weeks?
In a confusing report, the minister added that “since the start of the pandemic and until today we have treated and followed up 470 people responsibly” but she did not clarify if this number is the total number of positive cases of coronavirus or are suspected cases.
Regarding deaths from this disease, the official assured that “in the current week there were 9 deaths attributable to Covid and other deaths occurred in people who have been under follow-up,” but she did not provide figures for those other deaths.
Until May 12, the official deaths of Covid-19 were eight, so the total number would be 17.
The minister added that since the arrival of the disease in the country, 199 people have recovered. However, dhe did not clearly recognize community contagion in the country and only assured that “cases have been reported in outbreaks through clearly established contacts.”
The previous report
The latest report from the Minsa before today was on May 12 (before that six days had gone without a report), the same day, the general secretary of the Minsa, Carlos Sáenz, said that the report on the progress of the new coronavirus would be weekly.
The figures of the Minsa contrast with those of the Observatorio Ciudadano, puts the number of suspected cases (since there is no way obtaining numbers other than what the Minsa provides) at 1,170 suspected cases and 266 deaths from suspected pneumonia, a code for Covid-19 deaths (to May 13).
Managua, Chinandega, Masaya and Matagalpa are the departments that report the greatest number of cases.
Dictator Daniel Ortega Monday night in a national television broadcast that 309 people have died so far this year of pneumonia; however, the epidemiological bulletin of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported 86 deaths for the epidemiological week 18 that ended on May 2, that is, there are 223 deaths that are not reflected in the official statistics. More confusion.
Unofficially, there are reports of deaths from just about every department throughout the country, reports of night burials, people coerced into not talking about the death of a loved one or won’t get their body for burial.
Reports, particularly in Managua, of cemeteries guarded by police not to allow people or the independent media access; of families having to chase trucks coming out of the back doors of hospitals just to learn where their loved one is being buried.
Meanwhile, Ortega and his vice-president and wife, Rosario Murillo, promote mass gatherings, sports events and other activities of loyal FSLN members, they talk of a pandemic in the country.
Advocates for trade and truckers; quiet about doctors
Ortega dedicated a good part of his third official intervention in his national television broadcast to criticize Costa Rica’s decision to restrict the entry of foreigner truckers at the Nicaragua border.
Costa Rica took the measure after detecting at least 50 positive cases of covid-19 among truckers coming from Nicaraguan, including more than thirty Nicaraguans.
“By fighting the pandemic, you cannot create a crisis and a pandemic that will have a humanitarian impact and that will ultimately affect the Central American population,” said Ortega, not to mention the thirty infected truckers from Nicaragua, who were detected when attempting to enter Costa Rica last week.
The president welcomed the demand of freight forwarders who urge a quick response that regulates and allows the “fluidity of trade” on the roads, after citing the consequences of the transit of goods in the region.
However, he did not say a word about the complaints from hospitals crowded by patients with covid-19 or the more than 150 doctors and health personnel of public hospitals infected by the lack of protection measures, after his government prohibited in the first weeks the use of face masks or gel alcohol to “not alarm people.”
Nor did Ortega speak of the more than 700 doctors (to date) who have demanded the protection of the “front line” health personnel; a call that has also been raised by the Unidad Médica Nicaragüense, the Asociación Médica Nicaragüense and the Comité Científico Multidisciplinario, among other national and international organizations and bodies, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
In early May, independent epidemiologists warned that Nicaragua is already in the phase of community transmission. That is, the trace of infection of the covid-19 has been lost and anyone can be a potential infection.
However, the Government continues without recognizing this last phase of transmission, staying firm that all infections are “imported” cases, which worldwide has preceded the exponential increase in cases of covid-19 and the eventual collapse of hospital capacities.