2020 coronavirus pandemic in Nicaragua
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The 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Nicaragua is an ongoing disease outbreak related to the global 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic originating in China. The first reported case of coronavirus in Nicaragua was in March 2020 after a Nicaraguan citizen returned to the country from Panama, which has a large number of cases related to the pandemic.
|2020 coronavirus pandemic in Nicaragua|
Map of Nicaragua
|Arrival date||18 March 2020|
|‡Suspected cases have not been confirmed as being due to this strain by laboratory tests, although some other strains may have been ruled out.|
Ana Emilia Solís, the World Health Organisation's representative in Nicaragua, has stated that since January, when the Nicaraguan Government declared a sanitary alert due to the threat of COVID-19: “Nicaragua has been working according to [WHO] guidelines. It has been working hard on the enlistment of health services, strengthening epidemiological surveillance and has been working with the Community Health Network to identify possible cases that may occur at the community level”.
A delegation from the Pan American Health Organisation, the regional branch of the WHO visited the country in the second week of March to coordinate measures to protect against the virus. Alexander Florencio, a representative of the delegation, stated that "the best conditions are being prepared". Mr Florencio added that "provisions being made [by the government] have incorporated all PAHO recommendations."
Some critics of Daniel Ortega's government have claimed the government is downplaying the severity of the virus. Prior to the arrival of the virus in Nicaragua, a large public rally was organized by government supporters in solidarity with coronavirus victims in other countries; however, the event was criticized for lack of social distancing. The opposition party grouping, the National Coalition, wrote a letter of complaint to the World Health Organisation, arguing that WHO representative Ana Emilia Solis should be promoting more extreme measures to fight the virus, despite Solis's advice being in line with WHO guidelines.
The government has particularly focussed on an education programme, with health professionals and volunteers visiting 1.2 million households in the last week of March, and additional information being distributed via TV and other media. Nicaragua is also one of the few countries in Latin America to have WHO approved laboratory of molecular biology, which will be untilized to produce the drug Interferon alfa-2b, which is believed to have beneficial effects when administered for coronavirus symptoms.
On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.
On 16 March 2020, Rosario Murillo announced that the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism was visiting the municipalities of the country and meeting with tourism entrepreneurs making preparations for Holy Week (which is an important holiday celebrated through all the country), an approach described by opposition newspaper La Prensa as "betting on tourism" and "keeping tourism alive during a pandemic". The Ministry of Government also stated that the border would operate "normally" but with medical teams operating "pertinent measures" such as checking body temperature.
On 17 March 2020, Vice President Rosario Murillo announced that Cuba was going to send doctors and pharmaceuticals to Nicaragua to help deal with coronavirus, despite there being no confirmed cases in the country at the time. Murillo also claimed that medical supplies were sent by Venezuela as well.
On 18 March, Murillo announced Nicaragua's first confirmed case: a 40-year-old man who recently returned to Nicaragua from Panama. Regarding him Murillo commented stating he was in isolation and in stable condition, and that she hoped he wouldn't need a ventilator.
On 1 April Taiwan donated medical protective items, for use by medical professionals.
- A 52-year-old woman, who arrived from the United States, who is in the process of improvement and undergoing treatment.
- A 70-year-old man, who also arrived from the United States, who is in poor health, but stable.
- A 76-year-old man also arrived from the United States, with multiple chronic conditions, who is in treatment and in a stable condition.
Of the 12 original suspected cases, two have been cleared, but two more were added to the last on March 31, so the total is still 12.
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