(QCOSTARICA) What’s it really like in Nicaragua in these of COVID-19? Ivette Munguía, journalist for Confidencial, answered the question using as an example of what two journalists experienced on Wednesday, May 27, the same that Nicaraguans face daily.
“The journalists Álvaro Navarro, director of the Artículo 66, and Emiliano Chamorro, director of the Portavoz Ciudadano, toured several private hospitals in Managua (because they were very ill and with symptoms of COVID-19), but they were not attended because they (hospitals) were full.
“In the morning, Navarro was received in an emergency room at the Vivian Peña hospital, chest X-rays were taken and, despite being in a delicate condition, they asked him to go to another hospital because he needed an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and they had no space. Chamorro had to go home because he did not get attention,” said Munguía.
Due to the need for a bed in an ICU, Navarro visited three private hospitals, but none could take him.
“It was until the end of the afternoon that he was admitted to the Emergency Room of the Monte España Hospital, where they gave him oxygen because he had difficulty breathing and later transferred him to a room for patients with COVID-19.
“Here (in Nicaragua) right now, even money is useless. No matter how much as you have, the government and private hospitals are full. There is a national concern because no one understands why the government does nothing, they continue to say that people die from breathing difficulties or from strange pneumonia,” said Munguía.
Lidia López, a Nicaraguan journalist La Prensa, the only print media left in circulation in the country, assured that the state hospitals are full, that the relatives are crowded at the entrances, asking about the state of health of their loved ones and seen is a steady flow of vehicles with coffins emerging, taking the dead to cemeteries for immediate burial.
“Right now in Nicaragua, the reality is saving yourself if you can. We are in the hands of God. On May 25, the Government presented the country with what it called the ‘White Paper’ (Libro Blanco), which contains the model of policies used by the Ministry of Health to respond to the coronavirus, but says that they have everything under control and that is not the case.
“The truth is that nobody does anything, the death increase, the infections increase, burials are at any time of the day, they don’t even bother to do them at dawn, and the people do not receive effective information. There is deep fear because the health system has collapsed, so people know that no one will attend to them in a hospital,” López said.
Both journalists, Munguía and Lopez, agree with the statement by Costa Rica’s Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, when he said that Nicaragua is a great risk for Costa Rica.
“Costa Rica struggles with everything to avoid deaths and here the government expects many infections to achieve herd immunity, how to explain that?” Munguía acknowledged.
The Nicaraguan press is not the only one to denounce this terrible situation. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) last Tuesday asked the government of Daniel Ortega to urgently implement measures to contain the pandemic and to stop lowering the floor to the real impact they are experiencing.
“The protection of life and health cannot wait,” said Ciro Ugarte, PAHO director of Health Emergencies.
“We call on all public and private entities in Nicaragua to implement with immediate effect all the recommendations we gave them,” he said in a virtual press conference.