The Citizens’ COVID-19 Observatory raised its independent registry of the pandemic to 9,044 suspected cases of Covid-19 and 2,537 deaths associated with the virus. The number of deaths contrasts with the official count of the Ministry of Health (MINSA) which admits only 116 deaths and registers 3,672 positive cases up to July 28.
From July 23-29 the citizen’s initiative added 225 new suspected cases and explains that there are cases in 136 of Nicaragua’s 154 municipalities, 88% of the country.
In the week of July 21-28, MINSA noted 233 new cases “confirmed or likely” and continues to affirm that there are other deaths, without saying how many are persons with chronic illnesses such as diabetes hypertension, obesity, heart problems and cerebrovascular accidents.
The government statistics have been rejected by the medical associations of Nicaragua, which have asked the authorities to supply “real data” about the impact of the pandemic in the country.
The Observatory report says that even considering the figure of 116 deaths according to MINSA, that would show a mortality rate of 3%.
“This lethality reaffirms the urgent need for the government take measures to avoid contagion and supply more detailed information that will enable better decisions to confront the situation.
The 2,537 Covid-19 deaths registered by this independent investigation are from 121 Nicaraguan municipalities. Managua, with 35%, is the department with the highest number of fatalities, followed by Masaya (10%), Matagalpa (8%), León (7%) and Chinandega and Estelí with 5% of the deaths.
Contagion and deaths among health workers
Up to July 29, 101 health workers have died with symptoms associated with the coronavirus and the number of infected persons at hospitals, clinics and laboratories has risen to 756, according to the report.
Of the 101 deaths, 44 are doctors, 22 nurses, 14 administrators, 8 laboratory personnel, 3 medicine distributors, 3 dentists and 7 classified as “others,” which includes support personnel.
The Observatory also reported that 2,068 irregularities were registered, mainly in the exposure of people in groups. They received reports of large group activities in 6 departments of the country, with the most reported in León.
Prevention must not be relaxed
The report notes that in the “last weeks a drop-off of reports has been observed.” But it insists that this shouldn’t be interpreted as if there is no risk of contamination or that measures of protection and prevention should be relaxed.
On the contrary, it points out that the information received indicates that the pandemic “is spreading to the semi-urban and rural zones of the country.”
This past week a group of 29 Medical Associations of Nicaragua alerted that in the country a “false impression” exists that the Covid-19 is ending and called on the population “not to lower its guard” and maintain the methods of prevention to avoid more deaths and infections.
“We observe that there is a false impression that the pandemic is ending, when, to the contrary, the illness is presenting second waves in many countries. For this reason, we must be prepared in our households and in the health centers, at all levels, and continue maintaining the established methods of prevention and protection,” the statement went on.