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The Nicaraguan government surprised citizens this week by announcing a health day in tribute to the national holidays that are celebrated
in September, amid the call of doctors to strengthen measures against covid-19.  
- A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo -

Published Friday, August 28, 2020

International News

Nicaragua testing less for covid-19,
says report

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nicaragua is the Central American country that has carried out the least amount of covid-19 diagnostic tests among its population, yet has received the most number of tests from abroad, as revealed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

According to a Voice of America Journal report, independent doctors state that the Ministry of Health did 17,284 PCR tests between Feb. 28 and July 24, which leaves it at the end of the line in terms of the number of tests applied in the region.

These differences have raised doubts among specialists about the control and management that the government of Daniel Ortega makes of the health crisis.

PAHO's Director of Health Emergencies, Ciro Ugarte, said they have not yet received precise information on the progress of the pandemic in Nicaragua.

"Nicaragua is one of the countries that has received more additional laboratory tests," explained the specialist at the weekly PAHO conference. "While we obtain accurate information, some other sources show that the cases and the numbers and figures are different and there are some additional details that it is important to take into account so that the population takes their precautions properly," Ugarte said.

According to Ugarte, when PAHO began the preparation stage in the region for the first cases of covid-19, it provided technical assistance and sent missions to assess the capacity of the health services, to improve their preparedness and response, as well such as epidemiological surveillance actions and training of laboratory personnel.

"Donations of personal protective equipment have been made both by PAHO and other United Nations agencies, in general, these equipment have been distributed to health services," Ugarte said.

"At this time there is no detailed information on how much is available, that is why we continue with efforts to mobilize more personal protective equipment because of course, we have to protect our first line response from covid-19," he explained.

For its part, the government surprised citizens this week by announcing a health day in tribute to the national holidays that are celebrated in September, amid the call of doctors to strengthen measures against covid-19.

The initiative is called "My hospital in my community" and they mobilized medical brigades to the neighborhoods and communities of the country to bring what they call "specialized services," as revealed by the former minister of health sanctioned by the United States, Sonia Castro.

“It is a day in greeting to the national holidays, within the framework of the government model, a government that is directly present in the care of families, a model of family and community health. The essence of the hospital, the services will be present in the community," the public official said.

The specialists consider that this initiative would expose the public and the health personnel themselves to contagion due to the lack of awareness about the pandemic and the lack of personal protective equipment and that more than five months after registering the first case of covid -19, is still a problem in public hospitals.

Since the arrival of the pandemic in the country to date, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health maintains that people who have died from covid-19 respond to other morbidities, which has caused the lack of probability of recovery.

The Health authorities also do not mention the possibility of a covid-19 outbreak and, contrary to this, they highlighted that until Aug. 25 they have achieved the recovery of 3,339 Nicaraguans.

However, health professionals who work independently have warned of the possibility of regrowth in the face of dozens of activities promoted by the government.


Could the mismanagement of the pandemic in Nicaragua cause its population to seek treatment in the neighboring countries?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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