Every morning at the change of shift at the Hospital Alemán Nicaragüense in Managua, an average of fifteen deaths from Covid-19 are reported. Doctors and workers at this hospital, which is exclusively dedicated to the care of Covid-19 patients, confirmed to CONFIDENCIAL that just in the week of June 8-14, 61 persons were reported dead.
On Tuesday, June 9, when the Health Minister announced “nine deaths from Covid-19 nationwide”, in the previous week, fourteen people died in that hospital alone; on Wednesday, June 10 the number raised to twenty-three; on Thursday, June 11th, deaths decreased to twelve and on Friday the 12th the number remained the same. Medical sources at the Hospital Alemán Nicaragüense say that this trend in the lethality of the virus “is lower than that recorded two weeks ago, when between 20 and 30 patients died every day, but it is still very high”.
At other hospitals in Managua, health staff sources reported three deaths from Covid-19 in Vivian Pellas Hospital and one in Manolo Morales Hospital. Information from the Velez Páiz, Sermesa-Bolonia, Carlos Roberto Huembes and Military Hospitals remains unknown since the Minister of Health handles it hermetically.
In Rivas, at the Gaspar García Laviana Hospital, medical sources report that the Covid-19 care area is saturated, and that an average of four to six deaths from the new coronavirus are recorded daily, totaling 34 deaths in one week, which would be almost four times more than the nationwide number MINSA gave in its last report.
In the distant North Caribbean and Río San Juan departments, the death of one doctor in each has also been reported: gynecologist Wilfred Cunningham, in Bilwi, and surgeon Juan Anibal Delgadillo, originally from León, who died in San Carlos.
In this partial report by CONFIDENCIAL on the deaths from covid-19 and based on medical sources, in five of the country’s nineteen hospitals dedicated to dealing with the pandemic, it is confirmed that in one week 101 deaths were recorded, not including those who died at home.
Hospitals contradict MINSA figures
In contrast, official reports from MINSA project a downward trend in confirmed cases and deaths. On Tuesday, MINSA said only nine persons had died from Covid-19 in the last seven days, contrary to the previous week when they reported eleven deaths, which was already less than the week prior to that one, when they admitted eighteen deaths.
In confirmed positive cases MINSA also records “downward” data: 346 new positive Covid-19 cases this week, which are less than the 359 reported last week, which were already less than the 480 registered the week before last.
According to official figures, the lethality of the pandemic in Nicaragua remains around 4% during the last weeks, despite the fact that in the first two months it was above 30%. However, data from the COVID-19 Citizen Observatory —1,398 deaths out of 4,971 suspected cases— reveals a lethality rate of over 28%.
Hospital Alemán Nicaragüense with less patients
Deaths reported each morning at the Hospital Alemán Nicaragüense occur during the course of the previous day and in the early hours of the morning. Some of the bodies are removed by family members and buried expeditiously at dawn.
Medical sources say that two weeks ago the Hospital Alemán Nicaragüense reached a saturation point with more than 290 Covid-19 patients. “This week the number of Covid-19 patients has been reduced to 180, but the demand in emergency remains high, there has been no decrease in demand,” explained the source.
At the HEODRA hospital in León, another of the government’s designated “Sentinel Hospitals” for Covid-19 care, a medical source confirmed to CONFIDENCIAL that in recent days the number of patients suspected of covid-19 has decreased, but the figure is still high: “between 50 and 60 patients hospitalized,” says the source.
At HEODRA —where the government fired numerous Health staff since 2018— there is little information about Covid-19 deaths, however it is confirmed that there are daily deaths.
At the Hospital España in Chinandega the number of Covid-19 patients has also decreased. “We have 60% of the number of patients we had two weeks ago, but in Betania, in the annex of the Amocsa Clinic, we used to have two Covid patients and now we have eight,” said a medical source who fears a new outbreak in the northwestern part of the country.
Although MINSA does not detail the local impact of the pandemic, data from the Citizen’s Observatory indicate that Managua represents 47% of suspected cases, followed by Matagalpa, Masaya, León and Chinandega.