Opposition doctors promote false campaign on COVID-19 in Nicaragua

Submitted bytortilla onDom, 31/05/2020 - 16:11

Magda Lanuza , May 28th 2020

University students were the spearhead of the anti-government protests in the April 2018 coup attempt. A few weeks later, a sector of doctors  supporting the coup who worked in public hospitals like those in Jinotepe and León came into action. Their slogan was that the authorities would not allow them to treat the wounded. But then they took to the streets in their white coats, openly operating as political activists alongside the opposition sectors. As in any job and in any country, they were fired for misconduct for breaching medical ethics and their work schedules.

MINSA workers and brigadistas have made almost 5 million visits
house to house to give information to families and to monitor cases

Since April 1st, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak, Nicaragua has experienced a similar media campaign based on false news spread for political purposes. The initial slogan was: the government is doing nothing. At the end of May, the new message is the same: the government is killing people.

In this new stage of destabilization, a group of private sector doctors is at the forefront. Many of them have been resentful since 2007 when the strengthening of public health  sector began, compunded later by the 2018 dismissals of doctors for not doing their jobs.

Now clearly motivated by political interests they maintain another strong media campaign with an agenda, planning and obviously well funded. The goal is to take advantage of the context of what is projected as an unprecedented pandemic so as to to inject strong doses of uncertainty, fear, paranoia and panic into the general population.

Already some opposition leaders are saying that now with this pandemic, if the government can be voted out, they are waiting for October to celebrate. The new organizations of doctors that have appeared serve as extra sources of false news, giving opinions and even seeking to give orders to the population.

An example of this is a supposed Medical Society in Esteli that is sufficently brazen to issue outrageous public announcements to alarm the population and even recommending institutions to go into quarantine. In any country in the world, such behavior breaks the law in various ways.

According to even the BBC, false news can make people sick  as effectively as COVID-19. For most international news outlets, there is only one Nicaraguan doctor, from one Nicaraguan medical body, associated with the opposition's pandemic engendered  Independent Observatory. Practically in unison, all the international media copy and paste what the opposition doctor Francisco Rivas says : Voice of America, Radio France International, El Salvador's YSUCA radio station, CNN, Deutsche Welt. This is the same format and the same treatment as in 2018, false news stories advance in leaps and bounds, multiplying as they go.

But in Nicaragua, ONLY MINSA has kits for COVID-19 tests, and those tests are only read in the National Reference and Diagnostic laboratory in Managua. People who are sick with the disease can go to any of the 19 public hospitals that the authorities have equipped to deal with it, and those who have money to pay in dollars can go to any one of the numerous private hospitals. This means no doctor outside the public system can know how many people are sick or have died from the virus. In Nicaragua, as in all countries that follow the WHO protocol, only those tested can be confirmed to be either sick with the disease or to have died from it.

In the statistics of Central American Integration System, the World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University, only the official data is available, not data based on gossip, suspicions, rumors or fear and paranoia. If the victims the opposition claim really existed, these doctors from the new opposition organizations would be very busy working to earn money attending patients and would not have time to take part in political campaigns lacking all medical and human ethics. For their part, the Nicaraguan authorities are at the forefront of the pandemic, addressing it and working day and night. They will continue to lead Nicaragua's noble people, guaranteeing their human right to both good physical and mental health.