Source – stuartbramhall.wordpress.com
– “…No curfews, no lockdowns, no “stay at home”, no psychosis, no covid-calamities. There has been much talk about the Swedish corona strategy but the strategy of Nicaragua has been by far more successful, with many fewer deaths, no “economic rescue” for big banks and only limited damage to small and medium sized businesses”
Nicaragua, the Country that Didn’t Swallow the Covid Blue Pill – By Jorge Capelán
No curfews, no lockdowns, no “stay at home”, no psychosis, no covid-calamities. There has been much talk about the Swedish corona strategy but the strategy of Nicaragua has been by far more successful, with many fewer deaths, no “economic rescue” for big banks and only limited damage to small and medium sized businesses.
In the midst of the worldwide economic debacle caused by covid hysteria, food self-sufficient, small business based, impoverished Nicaragua, has seen its exports grow over 10% the past 8 months because it did not shut down its economy. Precisely because it sustained its economy, it has not had to take on huge loans in order to face the emergency. Thus, its foreign debt levels remain within a readily manageable range, below 50% of GDP. (On the other hand, the economies of neighboring countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, are hurting badly with debt levels soaring).
I went out on Sunday afternoon in the barrio where I live in Managua. Bars full of people, even small family-run restaurants full of guests. No masks. The local convenience store which still has the “only-masked-customers-allowed” sign hanging from the door no longer refuses to let maskless people in.
There is no mask-wearing official policy in Nicaragua except for a recomendation that only patients with respiratory conditions or personnel taking care of them should wear masks. The wearing of surgical gloves by patients, on the other hand, is strongly discouraged as it poses a serious risk of contagion both of coronavirus and other respiratory deseases. In hospitals and health care units most people wear masks, be it out of precaution or out of plain courtesy. Otherwise, in offices and shops handwashing and alcohol hand sanitizers are readily available practically everywhere.
No restrictions have been put in place for public meetings and sports championships such as the popular local baseball league have taken place without problems, as well as scores of local fairs and other traditional activities that take place weekly.
Few massive activities have been cancelled due to covid, especially Catholic Church processions, most notably the traditional 10-day-long celebrations of Saint Dominic in Managua, for which thousands of people gather every year. For the most part, people have moved around, going out or heading to the beach as normal. Over the last 3 weeks, an all-time record number of over 83 thousand people visited the Salvador Allende Port and its lakeside promenade – a big and popular public leisure complex in Managua–, according to the authorities.
Schools haven’t closed down, which is very good for the country’s school children, since they provide a nutritious meal a day to 1.2 million children, a food security measure contributing greatly to improved public health for families across Nicaragua.
Yet, with just 2-3 covid-19 deaths per week the last couple of weeks (147 in total as of September 22nd), Nicaragua is by far the least affected country in Central America. Belice has only 19 deaths so far, but on the other hand, its population is a fraction of Nicaragua’s.
As in Germany and other countries, Nicaragua’s Health Ministery does differentiate between deaths of patients “with covid” and “from covid”. That is, a person can be with covid-19 but in the last instance die from an acute heart attack, while someone else who also has covid-19 can die “from covid-19” because of an upper lung condition typical of viruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), such as SARS-CoV-2. That is the official explanation given by the authorities in a white paper on Nicaragua’s public health response to the pandemic issued last May.
A;though increased mortality due to pneumonia has been noticed (last week, 26% fewer pneumonia cases were reported, but with an increase of 8% in deaths – related but not directly caused by covid), the situation in the hospitals, health care centers, funeral parlours and graveyards is totally normal. No collapse anywhere.
By the end of April and the beginning of May, when the majority of covid deaths were reported, many people lost acquaintances, relatives or friends with comorbidities, but not even back then did the situation reach the kinds of scenes taking place in other countries. The health system never came even close to saturation point at any time.
In the Western press Nicaragua has been portrayed as a country that “did nothing” to divert the pandemic, which is totally false. Very early on, on January 21st, while the wealthy countries of North America and Europe dallied, Nicaragua declared a national epidemiological alert. That was the day after the Chinese authorities reported that country’s third death from covid-19. Some weeks later, Nicaragua’s national covid response committee elaborated a detailed protocol based on strenghtening the public health system and informing the population on a mass scale.
The strategy followed by the Nicaraguan Government was based on informing the population, taking care of the elderly and frail and strengthening the public health system, specially via enhanced control of the many diseases already threatening the population such as zika, dengue, malaria and chikungunya […]