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30 daily Covid deaths registered at two hospitals in Managua and Esteli

At the German-Nicaraguan the average number of deaths rose to up to 22 per day. In Estelí, San Juan de Dios Hospital registers eight deaths per day

Two of the largest Covid-19 hospitals in Nicaragua have an estimated 30 deaths a day from coronavirus. In the German-Nicaraguan Hospital, in Managua, the number of deceased rose to 22 per day, while the San Juan de Dios Hospital, in Estelí, reports up to eight deaths, as confirmed to Confidencial by several medical and hospital sources. 

Meanwhile the Ministry of Health maintains the number of victims of the pandemic at one victim weekly since October last year.

In the last three weeks, the German Nicaraguan Hospital has quadrupled the number of deaths. In mid-August between four to five people died daily; however, the average rose to 15, and already by this past weekend rose to 22. 

According to the sources, on the morning of September 6, 2021, the German-Nicaraguan Hospital had 70% of all beds occupied; 210 of the 300 available beds, with severely ill Covid-19 patients. In addition, at least 18 deaths were already known.

The Hospital has temporarily closed areas such as the outpatient clinic, emergency, neonatal, pediatrics and maternity, to attend exclusively to Covid cases. According to sources, the hospital is practically dedicated to treating these types of patients, as happened during the first wave of Covid-19.

In Estelí the situation is similar. Last week, in the San Juan de Dios Hospital, there were at least 40 deaths in four days. According to medical sources the daily average of deaths in this hospital unit remains between five to eight. This Monday there were 110 hospitalized people.

“This has collapsed. There are no beds available. There are patients in all areas. They had to transfer a nurse who works at an INSS (social security) clinic to Managua because there was no space. She was in serious condition, intubated,” confirm the sources. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of this hospital has a capacity of ten beds and ten ventilators.

The bed occupancy in this hospital increased in recent weeks. Confidencial learned that until mid-August there were 50 people hospitalized and since then the demand for beds has doubled.

As in the German Nicaraguan Hospital, at the San Juan de Dios, other spaces such as the pediatric clinic and emergency pediatric were assigned to attend Covid. According to the sources, they ran out of available beds, so last week they brought more beds from the Adventist Hospital, from that same city.

At the Fernando Velez Paiz Hospital in Managua, the Covid-19 rooms are full, confirmed medical sources. Meanwhile, a relative of a patient admitted to this hospital unit assured that last week in a single day he observed the exit of nine coffins.

Medical staff is exhausted

The increase in hospitalization demand has put medical staff at the limit of their capacity, according to doctors from the public and private system, who agreed to speak on the Esta Semana program, on condition of anonymity.

“The health units, both at the primary level and hospital level, are overstretched. And I am not referring to the physical capacity of the hospitals, but to the human capacity, because health staff is exhausted. They are physically and mentally affected. Unlike last year, more of the personnel were affected by the contagion,” said one of the doctors.

The increase in infections and mortality of the Covid-19 cases registered in recent weeks has directly impacted the capacities of public and private hospitals. Independent doctors interviewed in the Esta Semana program warned that hospital centers, especially Intensive Care Units, are “overstretched,” not only due to lack of beds or ventilators to care for those infected, but also due to the physical and mental exhaustion of the health staff.

Dr. “Salvador”, who works in a hospital and a private clinic pointed out that the Ministry of Health and the Government remain silent and acting “irresponsibly” in the face of the new outbreak of Covid-19 that affects the country. They are hiding figures of infections, of deaths; providing inadequate protective material to health personnel, implementing a slow vaccination process, and promoting activities to encourage crowding and a greater number of infections.” “They allege that only 200 people have died during the year and a half of the pandemic, a statistic that PAHO does not believe, when all the over mortality studies indicate that more than 9,000 people have died in Nicaragua,” he said.

According to the independent Citizen Observatory, in August there were at least 84 health workers infected with Covid-19, of these 38 were doctors and 11 were nurses. Most of the infected personnel are in Managua and Madriz. Also, there were 23 deaths in this profession: eight doctors, four nurses. According to citizen reports, last Friday there were at least 3 deaths of doctors with symptoms of the coronavirus.

One weekly death from Covid-19 is not credible

Concurrent with this situation, the Ministry of Health (MINSA) maintains that since last October only one person has died weekly from Covid-19, despite the fact that the number of infections currently reported is higher than the worst moment of the first wave of 2020. Last year, when the curve was lower, the authorities recognized between 10 and 18 deaths a week, about two a day.

“The statistics are totally inconsistent with any analysis,” said one of the doctors to Esta Semana. And he explained that in countries like Mexico they report that the probability of death in a patient intubated is around 80%, therefore, “it is impossible that it is lower here.”

“Hospitals like the German Nicaraguan, which has more than 30 patients in the Intensive Care Unit, with Covid-19 symptoms, to think that these people are all going to come out alive is irrational, incomprehensible. There is no way to explain this type of approach or data,” commented one of the doctors.

According to reports from the Citizen Observatory, in August there were at least 509 people who died with symptoms of Covid-19. Of these, 23% were from Managua, 13% from Estelí, 11% from Matagalpa, 9% from Madriz, and 8% from Leon.

This article was originally published in Spanish by Confidencial and translated by Havana Times

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