Over 500 Doctors Advise Ortega: “It’s Still Possible to Carry Out Mitigation Actions”

Emergency entrance at the “Aleman Nicaraguense” Hospital in Managua, where some patients with Covid-19 in Nicaragua are treated.  Photo: Carlos Herrera

Health professionals demand government actions against Covid-19 to contain the pandemic in Nicaragua

By Keyling T. Romero (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – In a forceful declaration, 543 Nicaraguan doctors demand that the Ortega Government implement mitigation measures to reduce the impact of Covid-19 in the country, which, if not, would result in deaths and in the collapse of the health system.

“Despite the negligent handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in our country and that economic stability has prevailed over the health and common good of the Nicaraguan people, we believe that —at the time that the curve of serious cases starts to rise—, it is still possible to carry out actions,” say the doctors.

In the document, the doctors point out six key actions that the State should follow to slow down the growth of the curve:

– Carry out the massive performance of tests both publicly and privately. Because, universal sampling is essential to mitigate the epidemic and reduce the impact on mortality and health services of the state and nation.

– Be transparent on relevant data on the evolution of the epidemic in accordance with international epidemiological standards, using clear technical language.

– Publicly establish its contingency plan for this public health emergency and immediately implement the measures of social distancing and restriction of mass meetings, as well as isolation and quarantine that are necessary.

– Guarantee adequate protection measures for all health personnel of public care services.

– Guarantee sufficient existence of diagnostic means, medications and life support equipment (such as ventilators) to all patients with Covid-19 that warrant it.

– Guarantee policies to reduce or cushion the damage at the socio-economic level (freezing of water, electricity, VAT and bank debts, implement aid funds, etc.) that would alleviate the crisis of health workers and citizens in general, as well as guaranteeing the observance of human rights to the most vulnerable population, like the rest of the Central American and other countries.

Government tries to hide the Covid-19 situation

They also denounce the handling of the health crisis in Nicaragua, noting that the authorities of our country have promoted disinformation, exposed health personnel to contagions by sending them to do house to house visits, and they have not taken the necessary sampling to understand the behavior of the pandemic in the country.

“Misleading information has been generated about people affected by the infection. This type of communication has created disinformation in the population, hindering the responsible management of the health crisis, becoming instead a facilitating factor in the spread of infection. The sampling of cases is centralized, with arbitrary and whimsical criteria for its realization, which seeks to conceal the state of the pandemic,” they denounced.

The doctors also recalled the donation of 26,000 rapid tests delivered by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration to Nicaragua, the million dollars donated by the Government of China (Taiwan) to buy medical supplies and equipment, and the concern of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) in the face of the pandemic situation in Nicaragua.

“We believe that as Nicaraguan citizens we have the right to receive quality comprehensive health, without discrimination, and it is an inherent obligation of the state to guarantee it. Health, in addition to being a Constitutional right, is a human right and it is an inalienable responsibility of the Nicaraguan state to guarantee this right,” they state in the letter.

However, they praised the work of health personnel who are providing care to the population even though they do not have the necessary protection.

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