18 March 2020 – First case reported in Nicaragua, government resists WHO advisories

Type of Intervention: Other Announcement
Sectors Involved: Health, Local Government
Level of Jurisdiction: National
Lead People/Agency: Government

Overview: On March 18, 2020, the government announced the first case of a positive COVID-19 patient in Nicaragua. At a Press Conference, Dr. Carolina Dávila, Minister of Health, reported that the patient was male patient who had traveled to Panama City on March 13 and returned to Nicaragua on March 15. Nevertheless, the government did not enact any actions such as travel bans or social distancing policies in response to the global COVID—19 pandemic. Despite the recommendations of the World Health Organization to avoid crowds, the ruling party organizes mass demonstrations, sport and touristic activities, including a carnival on March 14th in Managua financed with government resources, four days before reporting the first COVID-19 patient. These actions along with Nicaragua’s lagging response and its potential disastrous effects have been criticized by local scientists and medical associations.
Full details here: https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/324481/nicaragua-authorities-confirm-first-case-of-covid-19-march-18

Other links: 1
Type of Justification: N/A
Source of Evidence or Justification: Announcement of case
Evidence/Justification: Dr. Carlos Sáenz, secretary general of the Ministry of Health, explained at a press conference that since January the authorities began preparing technical laboratory personnel to perform the diagnostic of coronavirus. However, the authorities have not informed on the number of tests performed so far.