COVID-19 in Nicaragua: Pan American World Health Organization Demands More Info from Ortega Regime

PAHO says the official info about COVID-19 in Nicaragua released by the government is too scarce.

Yesterday the Pan American Health Organization urged Nicaragua to be more open about COVID-19. They said that the weekly info they receive from Minsa, Nicaragua’s ministry of health, offers no tangible information.

“The absence of detailed information about the age, gender, and location of COVID-19 infections in Nicaragua doesn’t allow us to know the level of spread of the virus in the country,” said Dr. Ciro Ugarte, the PAHO Director of Emergencies.

According to PAHO, the only certainty about COVID-19 in Nicaragua is that community transmission exists in the country. Because of this, Nicaraguans need to increase their protection measures. It would also help if the Ortega regime included more information in their Minsa reports.

More information would help inform more citizens about local spread of COVID-19. The Ortega regime has been notoriously secretive from the get-go about this pandemic. PAHO says this doesn’t help Nicaraguans combat the virus at all.

Disseminating more info about COVID-19, being more open about the spread and who’s infected “is the best measure that the vast majority of countries are adopting for the protection of their own citizens,” said Dr. Ugarte.

“It’s important to have detailed information. It’s important to have the result of molecular tests that identify the presence of the virus, because only then can we know what the level of spread is.”

PAHO has sent Nicaragua supplies and provided training to carry out lab tests for COVID-19. Despite this, the regime still refuses to report the number of tests it’s carrying out.

Minsa’s latest report from yesterday says Nicaragua has 2,846 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 91 deaths.

Independent monitor Cuidadano Observatorio disputes the regime numbers, though. They say Nicaragua has 7,402 infections and 2,087 deaths so far. This includes 133 fatalities in the last week of June put down to pneumonia.

This article was adapted into English from the original Confidencial piece by Ivette Munguia published on July 7, 2020. It’s not a direct translation.

James Dyde is the editor of centralamerica.com. He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.