The secretary-general of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), Carlos Sáenz, was unable to determine the exact number of suspected cases of the covid-19 coronavirus in Nicaragua, but hinted, during an interview on Channel 10, that the number of tests carried out exceeded official statistics, by much, which until Monday was six suspected cases and two confirmed cases.

All Central American countries with the exception of Nicaragua, have taken decisive and difficult actions to stop the advance of the virus

Sáenz avoided answering, on repeated occasions, but at the insistence of journalists and the Channel 10 audience, the official admitted that the number of tests carried out by Minsa: “It could be around, I can’t say for sure, it’s like, more or less about 200, a hundred and something.”

The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo maintains hermeticism about the information related to the coronavirus pandemic and refuses to take preventive measures, so Saenz’s appearance on Channel 10 has caused a great impact.

The official also did not specify the number of people that the Ministry is following up on and only stated: “We have several that are being evaluated, there are not two or three, we have several in that evaluation process and we have several in their homes that we are monitoring with daily follow-up.”

Despite the demand for information about the hospitals and the resources available to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Sáenz said that citizens must go to any of the 19 regional hospitals in the country and assured that the Minsa has “enough mechanical ventilators in hospitals” without giving an exact figure.

The official confirmed that, currently, only the Ministry of Health has the necessary reagents to do the coronavirus test, but clarified that people who have Social Security can go to their local clinic to receive medical attention. Private hospitals have also set up isolation rooms for suspected covid-19 patients and are in a position to take blood samples and send them to the Minsa for analysis.

Sáenz explained that currently “there are not tests” of coronaviruses in the market. “What we are doing is that they (private hospitals) tell us they have a case, they take the sample, we process it and we give them the result,” said the Minsa official.

However, Sáenz assured that the Minsa laboratory is “resupplied and we are requesting more, in order not to have problems.”

Monday morning, the Nicaraguan American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) demanded that the Ortega Government “explain in detail its policy and act urgently to combat the spread” of the coronavirus in Nicaragua.

“The facts around the world about the covid-19 pandemic are very serious and real,” warned Amcham, who recalled that, “all Central American (countries), with the exception of Nicaragua, have taken decisive and difficult actions to stop the advance of the virus”.

“We view with great concern the government’s promotion of activities in public squares with a large influx of people, and the absence of drastic and forceful measures to prevent the accelerated spread of the pandemic,” Amcham said.

Before the coronavirus entered Nicaragua last week, Nicaragua was already experiencing an economic recession, the product of a bloody socio-political crisis that began in April 2018, which keeps Ortega confronted with an apparent majority of Nicaraguans.

With information from EFE

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