While the world cancels public activities, bans massive concentration of people, and sports events to prevent the spread of covid-19, the government of Daniel Ortega and his wife, First Lady and Vice-President, Rosario Murillo, made a call to public employees and supporters to attend rallies this Saturday, March 14, under the motto: “Love in times of COVID-19 ”.
The marches were held throughout the country “in solidarity with the countries affected by the coronavirus” Murillo said.
“Tomorrow (Saturday) we will be walking with the force of faith and hope throughout the country, in solidarity with all the peoples, families and brothers and sisters of the entire world who are facing this pandemic. Love in times of the covid-19”, said Murillo on Friday.
“United in neighborhoods, communities and territories to take care of ourselves together. Responsibility of the State, citizen responsibility, we all have to learn to take care of ourselves as brothers and sisters, to take care of ourselves together”, said Murillo her Friday noon address to the country.
Thousands marched for several kilometers on Bolívar Avenue, a central street in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital.
People carried banners reading messages such as “victory over the coronavirus,” as they chanted President Daniel Ortega and his wife.
Others performed spontaneous dances or dared to shout: “The coronavirus has not reached Nicaragua thanks to our Commander Daniel.”
It should be noted that Ortega and Murillo did not participate in the march, despite the fact that they called it.
The crowd forgot about the risk of the disease among screams, hugs, sweat and drinks that they bought from street vendors, who made change (as in money) and distributed ice with their hands.
Nicaragua does not report any cases, suspicious or confirmed, of the coronavirus covid-19.
But it may not be all roses. According to Spain’s El País, this week a document from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) was leaked, in which experts warn that the country could result in 32,500 infected and 813 deaths in six months.
The march on Saturday was in complete contrast to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) suggestion of avoiding mass crowds to prevent covid-19 infections.
Murillo assured that the Ministry of Health has implemented all the international sanitary recommendations to prevent the coronavirus
Obviously, the march caused many negative reactions due to the danger of bringing together so many people in the middle of a pandemic.
“It is irresponsible to call to march. It is important not to attend large meetings where broadcasting can be more active. The main fear is that, although this disease has a high transmission and low mortality, its high contagion capacity exceeds the installed capacity of health units,” epidemiologist Milton Valdez, Nicaragua’s former Deputy Minister of Health, told El Pais.
In Central America, El Salvador has instituted a quarantine and along with Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama announced measures that include closing of all or some of the schools, concerts, public activities.
Costa Rica on Sunday ordered the closing of all bars, discos, and casinos, restaurants/bars to operated at 50% capacity or risk closure.
Guatemala has reported first coronavirus death, an elderly man who had recently visited Madrid, that country’s Health Minister Hugo Monroy said on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Murillo has reiterated in her addresses that Nicaragua will not establish “any type of quarantine” for travelers.
Article originally appeared on Today Nicaragua and is republished here with permission.