By Wendy Alvarez (La Prensa)
HAVANA TIMES – Nicaragua will get for free a shipment of around 25 thousand rapid tests to detect Covid-19, within the framework of a Central American Bank of Economic Integration (CABEI) program.
The Secretary General of the Central American Integration System (SICA), Vinicio Cerezo, said in his networks that the tests were purchased in South Korea and are on their way. It is a shipment of 182 thousand rapid tests, which will be distributed equally among the SICA member countries.
“Each SICA member country will have around 25,000 more tests to continue facing the pandemic,” Cerezo informed, who did not specify when these will be delivered to each of the beneficiary countries.
This shipment is part of the Contingency Plan that CABEI (Central American Bank for Economic Integration) sponsors in the region. Of that fund, US $2.1 million is destined to purchase the rapid tests.
The Secretary General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreye, on March 16, said that “doing tests, tests and more tests” is the best strategy to fight the pandemic.
While laboratory tests can take hours for the results to be known, rapid tests yield information in a matter of minutes, international specialists have explained, which helps to stop the spread of the highly contagious virus.
In Nicaragua, which has not informed how many laboratory tests the Ministry of Health has carried out since the first case became known, the regime has refused to authorize private hospitals to introduce rapid virus test kits in the country, which in the world has killed more than 74,000 persons.
The Executive President of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS), Roberto Lopez, in a television appearance, hinted that the Government will not authorize private hospitals to carry out tests of this type, because international organizations have vouched that the center managed by the Health Ministry fulfills the conditions that are required.
Private sector requested authorization
The president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP), Jose Adan Aguerri, said on March 25 that the private medical centers had already filed the authorization request with the MINSA, but received no answer.
The private sector called on the Government to decentralize the application of these tests, so that they will be administered to a larger number of people and thus contain its spread, as other countries such as South Korea and Taiwan have done.
“There are a number of laboratories and hospitals that have requested (internationally) the kits to do these tests, and we consider that it is very important that this authorization be given, that the test not be centralized only in the MINSA in order to them in a timely manner, so that lives can be saved,” emphasized Aguerri.
Specialists have estimated that a person carrying the virus is capable of infecting five others. The virus, although it has a relatively low mortality rate, is highly contagious and kills especially older adults, but there have also been cases of deaths of people without previous medical problems.
The Ortega regime secretly handles the pandemic information and negligence complaints against government measures have multiplied as the virus progresses. So far, the authorities report six cases, of which one died.
Costa Rica has already authorized private centers
In neighboring Costa Rica, the Ministry of Health announced on March 31 that it authorized three private laboratories to carry out Covid-19 tests, which were added to five others that had already received the permit and with this, these eight can do tests for rapid detection and contain the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, Costa Rican authorities announced the start-up in record time of a Covid-19 Specialized Center, with state-of-the-art equipment. It has 48 pulmonary ventilators, 88 suction units, 22 infrared non-contact thermometers, among others.
For his part, the President of El Salvador, Nayid Bukele, also reported that the country expanded the capacity to carry out tests for coronavirus detection, in whose country as of noon last Saturday there were 56 confirmed cases, of which three have died.
Until Sunday at noon, Central America and the Dominican Republic registered 3,982 infected people, of which 63 had recovered, 132 died and 3,787 were still sick. Panama, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Honduras remained the countries most affected by the pandemic.