At the gate of the Manolo Morales Hospital, an ambulance from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) departs with some frequency. The driver wears an airtight suit that may well be mistaken for an astronaut. He takes to the street, turns on the siren and presses the accelerator until he’s lost on the horizon.
The scene is the same every day and the destination of the ambulance is the same, gate two of the German Nicaraguan Hospital where they attend to confirmed cases of covid-19 in Nicaragua.
Only on Saturday, May 9, the Minsa ambulance transferred 20 patients from the Manolo Morales Hospital to the German Nicaraguan Hospital. Medical sources explained that the transferred are only “patients with positive tests” of covid-19. Meanwhile, some 40 people suspected of being infected with the coronavirus remain isolated in the Manolo Morales Hospital “waiting for the results.”
Due to the increase in suspected cases of covid-19, the administration of the Manolo Morales Hospital arranged almost half of its facilities exclusively for the health emergency. They are currently using “the entire ward that was intended for female patients; that is, the area of general surgery, internal medicine and women’s orthopedics,” said the source.
The source also assured that seven resident doctors of Internal Medicine are infected with the virus, so “there is a shortage of personnel” while people have been forced to “stand in line waiting to be treated.” At the beginning of last week, they were given the verbal order to “reduce scheduled surgeries.”
124 cases in the German Nicaraguan Hospital
When the Minsa ambulance arrives at the German Nicaraguan Hospital, there is a lot of tension. A group of people – who remain outside – eagerly await the moment when gate number two opens. Inside are their relatives with covid-19, whom they have not seen since they were admitted, and the brief entrance of the ambulance is the only thing that connects the interior with the exterior.
According to a hospital source, this weekend the number of patients in the covid-19 area at the German Nicaraguan Hospital amounted to 124 people. The number of sick people has been climbing in recent weeks in contrast to the “silence” of the national authorities, who stopped reporting covid-19 cases.
Until this May 5, when the Minsa gave its last official report, the regime accumulated 16 positive cases, five of them deceased. However, the Citizen Observatory COVID-19, which monitors the progress of the pandemic based on reports from the population together with a team of doctors and epidemiologists, reports at least 1033 suspected cases of the SARS-coV-2 coronavirus.
The departments with the most suspected cases of covid-19 are: Managua, 495 followed by Masaya 75, Chinandega 73, Matagalpa 49, Estelí 35, Granada 34, León 27, Chontales 26, Rivas 25, RACCS 23, Madriz 20.
Minsa centralized laboratory tests for covid-19, making doctors unable to corroborate the diagnosis of suspected cases, most of these cases are diagnosed as “indeterminate” or “atypical pneumonia.”