(TODAY NICARAGUA) Nicaragua, which was distinguished in the Central American region by an incipient advance of the pandemic, has surpassed its own statistic since March 18. In the last two weeks, the accumulated cases reached 759 cases of Covid-19 and 35 deaths, a logic that corresponds to the accelerated exponential growth of the contagion curve and the phase of community transmission, which has not been explicitly accepted by the Ministry of Health (Minsa).
The Secretary General of the Minsa, Carlos Saénz, assured this Tuesday that from May 19 to 26, they counted 480 new cases of Covid-19 and 18 deaths.
The official report does not provide the accumulated cases only “cases this week”, so when adding up the cases reported since March 18, when the first case was announced, to date, 759 covid-19 infections have been officially recognized by the Ministry of Health
However, these data are far from the reality that is seen in hospitals and outside them, where dozens of relatives of suspected or confirmed cases of the new coronavirus are waiting for information.
Underreporting of deaths and cases persists, doctors say.
As of May 23, the Covid-19 the NGO Observatorio Ciudadano records 2,687 Covid-19 cases in the country and 600 deaths from “pneumonia and suspected Covid-19”.
Saenz said he also said that “other deaths occurred in people who have been followed up due to pulmonary thromboembolism, diabetes mellitus, acute myocardial infarction, hypertensive crisis and bacterial pneumonia,” but did not specify data.
According to the Minsa, every day in Nicaragua, two people have died from Covid-19 and about sixty cases have been identified daily. For the epidemiologist Álvaro Ramírez, the only important thing that the statistics reflect is that the exponential growth continues, but for political reasons, they will continue to manage that growth until they see fit.
Pulmonologist and member of the Nicaraguan Association of Pneumology, Jorge Iván Miranda, explains that the government has real data on the progress of the pandemic, but they will gradually make them public.
Both doctors consider that the increase in cases and deaths will continue in the following Minsa reports. The first statistical jump occurred the week of May 12 to 19, when from 25 cases it went to 254 new cases in one fell swoop, ten times the amount that preceded it, to total 279.
This behavior corresponds to the warning made by specialists from different branches of medicine, who assured that the cases would begin to multiply more rapidly in early May, and therefore, urged the regime to take measures to guarantee social distancing, and that fewer people become infected with the virus. There was no response.
For Ramírez, what is clear is that the government has a defined policy regarding the decision to maintain herd immunity and that they will cover the consequences of their political decisions at any cost.
He thinks they are now studying the data they are going to release, but this remains “an arithmetic game” that the government uses to maintain the image that some mild exponential growth data is reporting.
“The week’s report is most likely to be five times or seven times higher than what they are officially reporting,” he said.
For his part, Miranda considers that they are implicitly accepting that there is community transmission, that there is an exponential increase in cases, but they do not give the complete figures, as happened with deaths from pneumonia, when Daniel Ortega spoke, that his data did not correspond to the of the epidemiological bulletins of the Minsa.
They tried to consolidate this image of control of the health crisis with the publication of the “Libro Blanco” (White Paper), in which they assure that “the situation of the pandemic is under control in the country”, and that it is due to the strengthening of the health system from the 2007 and the preparations before the first case of Covid-19 was detected.
Minsa maintains dispersed, disorganized data that do not allow us to know the reality of the development of the pandemic. Their own recovery statistics have shown that they never reported those cases, and doing so once the population was already healthy.