Nicaraguan Medical Association Warns of New Covid-19 Outbreaks

By Yubelka Mendoza Gonzalez (La Prensa)

At the gate of the German-Nicaraguan Hospital in Managua. File photo: Oscar Navarrete/ LA PRENSA.

HAVANA TIMES – On Thursday, July 30, a group of Nicaraguan Medical Associations that had called on the population in June to initiate a voluntary national quarantine, issued a new call to the populace to avoid letting down their guard. The Association urged them not to be fooled by the apparent normality with respect to the pandemic, and – on the contrary – to remain prepared for possible new outbreaks.

In a statement signed by 29 medical associations, the specialists evidenced their concern over “the false impression that the COVID-19 pandemic is ending”. They recalled that “the disease is now presenting second waves in numerous countries around the world.”

“For that reason, we must be prepared in our homes and health centers to continue maintaining the established preventive and protective measures,” they affirmed.

For weeks now, Nicaragua has been living a false normality in regard to the pandemic. The citizens have stopped their self-quarantine and have begun to go out to public places without protective measures.

La Prensa reporters who toured the capital at night found the bars full, while patrons there were not observing the physical distancing measures. In general, bars are considered the places with the greatest risk of contagion.

“We urge our citizens not to let their guard down, but to continue with the prevention campaigns that different sectors in Nicaragua are waging. We remind the government of Nicaragua that the health authorities should be watching out for the physical and emotional well-being of their health personnel and for the health of the people. This is their duty, according to Article 59 of the Nicaraguan Constitution,” the associations declared.

According to the most recent data from the Heath Ministry, the country has had 3,672 cases of COVID-19 with 116 deaths. In contrast, the independent monitoring group “Citizens’ Observatory” has documented 8,755 probable contagions and 2,487 deaths related to the virus.

In addition, the doctors observe “with concern” that the government hasn’t yet reinstated the health workers who were fired, “and continues failing to promote minimal measures of prevention: physical distancing of at least 2 meters between people; the general use of face masks, shields or plastic protective panels; diligent hand-washing with soap and water for at least 40 seconds; and temporary closure of public and private educational centers at all educational levels.”

Pleas to offer the stranded citizens freeCOVID-19 tests

Similarly, the association issued an “urgent [call] for humanitarian action to be taken” in support of the hundreds of Nicaraguans at the border trying to return to their country. In Penas Blancas, [on the border with Costa Rica] alone, there are more than 500 people agglomerated. The government has refused to allow these citizens to enter until they present a negative COVID-19 test.

Given the situation, the medical specialists urged the authorities to immediately mobilize a medical brigade to the Costa Rican border, “to offer free COVID-19 testing to the citizens waiting to enter our national territory.”