Thousands of supporters of the official Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) defied the COVID-19 pandemic again this Sunday in Nicaragua, with mass walks to spas and popular festivals.
The Sandinistas attended the massive activities organized by the regime of President Daniel Ortega, in which music and events with people competing for a royalty predominated, in contradiction with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
One of the activities promoted by the Government was the “Summer Music Fest 2020”, At the El Trapiche dam, on the outskirts of Managua, where there was contests that required competitors to put their bodies together and touch the same object simultaneously with their mouths.
The massive activities that the Sandinista regime promotes every holiday or weekend have been criticized by doctors and human rights defenders for their high exposure to the SARS-cov2 coronavirus, which produces the disease of COVID-19.
Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, who led the historic Catholic commemoration of Holy Week behind closed doors, spoke about promoting activities that call for the agglomeration in times of health crisis. “Christ is hope, he has come so that we may have life, he has not come to promote death, he has come to destroy death,” Brenes said, at a closed-door mass, from a completely empty Cathedral in Managua.
The message apparently was not heeded by the Sandinistas, who carried the red and black flag of the FSLN, on their trips to some spas near Managua.
“People feel protected because we have all the institutions activated,” said the director of El Trapiche, Ingrid McNally, through government media.
The Nicaraguan authorities refuse to impose restrictions, suspend classes or establish quarantines, arguing that only nine cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, and that the country does not register “community local transmission.” Despite the fact that the Government classifies the nine confirmed cases, including one dead, as “imported”, it maintains its open borders policy unchanged.
According to the Citizen Observatory COVID-19, dedicated to investigating the number of patients with this disease who are not recognized by the Government, at least 202 people could have acquired SARS-cvV-2 in Nicaragua, and not nine, as the authorities maintain.
Among the main irregularities that are committed every day in relation to COVID-19, is the exposure of people in massive activities, according to the Citizen Observatory. Different international organizations, such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Organization of American States (OAS), the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), have expressed their concern about how the pandemic is handled in Nicaragua.
The human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called Ortega’s response to COVID-19 “reckless”.
COVID-19 Citizen Observatory made an “urgent” call to the Ministry of Health, to rule out the disease in suspicious deaths, guarantee the protection of front-line health personnel, as well as the supply of water in health units.
It also demanded a plan of use and information on 26,000 diagnostic tests for COVID-19 that the Government has, and shows in a clear and transparent way the data on epidemiological surveillance.
Confident that they were guaranteed free transportation from each spa, the Sandinistas enjoyed the festivities promoted by the government until after sunset.
(With information from EFE)
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