Daniel Ortega Replaces Health Minister in Nicaragua amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Fifteen days after the first confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported in Nicaragua, the Daniel Ortega regime named a new Minister of Health, dismissing Carolina Davila Murillo was dismissed as the head of the Ministry of Health and named a presidential advisor.

Dr. Martha Reyes Alvarez, Nicaragua’s new Minister of Health. Photo: Presidency

As of April 1, the new Health Minister is Dr. Martha Reyes Alvarez who previously occupied the position of Director of Health Security.

- payin the bills -

Davila, who took over the Ministery of Health on July 25, 2019, had been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department. Now, according to the presidential agreement, she will occupy the post of presidential advisor for matters of Managua’s Local System for Integral Health Attention (Silais-Managua).

Before becoming Minister, Davila had served since 2017 as Assistant Health Minister for matters of these same “Silais”. She’s also the wife of a current Assistant Health Minister Enrique Beteta, also a national leader of the Sandinista Medical Movement.

On March 26, the deposed Minister did not appear for a scheduled interview on television Channel 10 to speak about the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Channel 10 is the only independent media outlet where the health authorities have occasionally offered declarations.

- paying the bills -

Davila offered no explanation for the cancellation, simply failing to appear at what would have been her first public interview. Instead, she sent a psychiatrist who was unable to explain the strategies that the Health Ministry is implementing to avoid the spread of the virus in the country, and in recent days, he had been the object of debate and mockery on social media, after he gave erroneous statistics about Covid-19.

 

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The truth is that, while the Ministry of Health states that the number of infections and deaths is decreasing, each week, more than a hundred people die in hospitals due to Covid-19, while different medical associations begin to report the death of their members.

“On the fatality rate—which is now 4%—it was something that worried them and they quickly corrected it. On May 19 they released a report that jumped to 254 cases, in order to lower the case fatality rate, which was 32%. The highest in the world!”, said epidemiologist Alvaro Ramirez, when interviewed in the program “Esta Semana,” which is only broadcast online, due to the censorship of the Government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

“They became aware of the mathematical error they were making and decided to start correcting it, inflating the number of cases and reducing the number of deaths,” he amplified.

According to the weekly reports from MINSA, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from the 480 it was three weeks ago, to 359 a fortnight ago, to leave it at 346 last Tuesday.

The number of new deaths also falls week by week. If 21 days ago, 18 more deaths were officially reported than in the previous one, fifteen days ago only eleven deaths were added to the count, and last Tuesday only nine.

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