Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
Over 240 healthcare workers in Nicaragua have contracted COVID-19 after the government banned them from using face masks to underline the fact that the virus is nothing to be afraid of.
The local Citizen Observatory has reported that 246 healthcare professionals have caught COVID-19 at work and 11 have died after they were forced to adopt the government measures or face the sack.
Reports said the government of Daniel Ortega and its Health Ministry led by Dr Martha Reyes refused to take preventive measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic, such as closing borders, closing schools, or suspending social activities.
A doctor who works in a public hospital, but who asked not to be named for fear of government retaliation, told newspaper Infobae: “Bad decisions were taken. Undoubtedly. There was no alarm. We are paying the consequences of not having followed the (accepted international) protocols thoroughly from the beginning.
“In the current situation we all depend on our salary, and talking about or criticising the government means being immediately fired.”
According to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University, there have been 279 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nicaragua and 17 deaths, but many observers say this is far too low.
According to Amnesty International, the Nicaraguan Government has wilfully put the population at risk from a strategy and from allowing layoffs and work harassment against health professionals who have demanded the use of Personal Protection Equipments (PPE).
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