In Nicaragua, the regime's denial and carelessness in the face of the coronavirus raise fears of a drama

A poster of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife and vice-president Rosario Murillo, in Managua, Nicaragua, March 27. OSWALDO RIVAS / REUTERS

In Nicaragua, everything is normal, there is no need to be alarmed or follow the recommendations for social distancing advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO). This is, in essence, the position of the government of President Daniel Ortega which, unlike its Latin American neighbors, has taken no measures to contain, stop classes or close borders in the face of the epidemic caused with coronavirus.

A president who, in fact, has been missing since March 12, when he participated in a videoconference with his Central American counterparts. Speculation about his situation is rife. Everyone in Nicaragua was waiting for him to reappear during the funeral for the deputy and historic activist of the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN), Jacinto Suarez, very close to Mr. Ortega, also a former guerrilla, the April 2 and 3. But it has not happened.

While rumors are circulating about the president's death, many Nicaraguans believe that Daniel Ortega, in power between 1979 and 1990 and since 2007, is in fact confined to his bunker in El Carmen, Managua, contradicting the advice of his government and of his own wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, to continue living normally. Social networks are having a great time: “Ortega doesn't come out of his house at all. Ortega is concerned for her life. Be smart: do like Ortega ”, is one of the messages circulating.

Concern of neighboring countries

The regime seems to overshadow the real number of cases of coronavirus. Officially, only six people were infected, and one died from covid-19. All, according to the Ministry of Health, have been contaminated abroad, and there are no cases of local contamination. A reality that experts agree to estimate very largely underestimated, while neighboring Costa Rica counted 454 cases on Sunday April 5, and Honduras, 268. And this, all the more so since the Cuban Ministry of Health , he recently informed of two contaminations "imported" from Nicaragua.

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One of the only measures taken by the authorities has been to register people returning from countries where the transmission of the virus is "Active" on a register when they arrive, invite them to confine themselves to their homes for fourteen days and follow up. For the rest, the authorities invite the population to continue their activities. Football or baseball tournaments, for example, have been continued.

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