Dozens of local Nicaraguan Medical Associations issued a joint statement, calling on citizens to urgently unite in a voluntary “national quarantine”, in the face of the “unstoppable” increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.
“With the moral, academic and labor authority that we, as doctors, derive from the fact of being on the front lines of attention in this dramatic public health crisis, the Nicaraguan Medical Associations call on the population to urgently begin a voluntary national quarantine to help reduce the impact of this disease, and bring about a reduction in the contagion, transmission and deaths among the population,” the statement affirmed.
The doctors warned that the “exponential rise” in cases of COVID-19 has caused the “collapse” of Nicaragua’s public and private health system, leading to saturated hospitals and a lack of hospital beds and medicine, as well as of essential products such as oxygen.
They also indicated that “dozens of doctors and health workers are being infected with COVID-19, with an important number of deaths among doctors, nurses and technicians.” All this has provoked a situation where “there’s a reduced number of medial and paramedical human resources in the different institutions, causing work overloads, and physical and emotional exhaustion for the health workers.”
Nicaragua in the phase of rapid expansion
In the public statement, they note: “We direct ourselves today to the Nicaraguan people and the international community to warn of the dramatic situation that our country is going through and that threatens to get worse in the next days and weeks, with terrible and fatal consequences for [the country’s] households.”
“Nicaragua is currently in a phase of rapid expansion and community transmission which will continue getting worse, with greater loss of lives if the corresponding authorities continue denying the situation and don’t take urgent, large-scale measures to fight the epidemic and try and contain the pandemic’s advance,” the doctors declared.
Call to stay home
The Nicaraguan Medical Associations explained that the national quarantine they’re demanding means remaining at home for at least three or four weeks, going out to shop once a week, guaranteeing a distance of at least 1.5 meters between people, using facemasks or face shields outside the home, and practicing constant hand washing.
“Today, we’re all potential vectors of contagion and transmission of the illness, for which we repeat the call to the Nicaraguan population, private companies and public institutions to remain at home,” they insisted.
The doctors also demanded that the private sector “take energetic measures against the propagation of the virus and save lives by establishing actions that reduce the risk of exposure and transmission, not only through personal hygiene measures, but with other actions.”
As of Tuesday, May 26, the government of Daniel Ortega had reported 759 positive cases of COVID-19 in Nicaragua and 35 deaths. However, the independent monitoring organization “COVID-19 Citizen’s Observatory” registered as of Friday, May 29, at least 3,725 suspected cases and 805 deaths of patients whose symptoms resembled those of the SAR-CoV-2 Coronavirus.