The Government of Nicaragua presented this Monday its “White Paper” on its plan before COVID-19, based on a “balance between the pandemic and the economy”, and in which it compared the Central American country with Sweden, to counter criticism for not following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
In the so-called “Nicaragua White Paper on the COVID-19 pandemic: A singular strategy”, presented to ambassadors in Managua and Nicaraguan representatives in other countries, the Government of President Daniel Ortega explained his model, which he stated, is “based on the reality and conditions of the country ”.
According to the Nicaraguan government, the policy in the face of the pandemic is based on defending the recovery “of an economy weakened by the attempted coup d’état in April 2018,” as it calls for the popular uprising against Ortega, which has left hundreds of opponents dead.
“The countries of the world are going to have to combine defense against the coronavirus with the functioning of society, just as Nicaragua and Sweden have done from the beginning,” he said.
ORTEGA COMPLAINTS DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN
The document stated that since 2018 the Government has lived “under attack by false news campaigns and disinformation, as well as illegal coercive measures”, which it did not mention, although it is known that more than 20 relatives, relatives, Ortega officials and Sandinista companies have been object of international sanctions for serious violations of human rights and corruption.
The Government considers the “express burials” seen daily in Nicaragua, the sudden fading of people in the streets, or the 2,323 cases reported by the independent Citizen Observatory COVID-19, which includes 465 deaths, compared to the 279 infected, to be false. and 17 deceased admitted by the authorities.
The “White Paper” highlighted the strengthening of the health system in Nicaragua, compared to how it was 13 years ago, when Ortega returned to power.
He reported that Nicaragua had been prepared against the pandemic since last January, and that on February 9 it disclosed the “Protocol for the Preparation and Response to the Risk of Coronavirus Virus (COVID-19) in Nicaragua,” a document that was released in March by a filtration to journalists, and that was never admitted by the authorities.
The Government indicated a “set of actions taken” in the face of the pandemic, among which it cited the preparation of 19 hospitals, and the surveillance of 42,000 travelers for 21 days, to detect possible positive cases.
Additionally, he highlighted the performance of “more than 4.6 million house-to-house visits”, carried out by 98,224 volunteers, an action criticized by doctors who believe that the measure spreads the pandemic.
A personal prevention campaign in the official media, a line for consultations on the pandemic, and the disinfection of buses and taxis twice a week, are part of the Nicaraguan strategy against COVID-19, according to the “White Book”.
THE FIFTH “WHITE PAPER”
“In summary, Nicaragua, the second poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean, has been prepared to face the COVID-19 pandemic and any other similar one,” he stressed.
The government report acknowledged that there is a “partial closure in the entire country”, without pointing out that it is a voluntary measure by citizens and businessmen, and highlighted the work of the Police and the Armed Forces, along with other activities essential to society. .
The “white papers” are reports that governments resort to when they want to clarify an issue, generally controversial.
Ortega, accused of maintaining strict control of freedom of expression and of the press, as well as of public information, has had to resort to at least five “white papers” since 2007, on conflicts with other countries, application of controversial laws, alleged electoral fraud, or apparent abuse of power.
The controversy over the pandemic stemmed from the scant and confusing information offered by the authorities, and the growing reports of cases and deaths related to COVID-19, which the Government denies.