Coronavirus Reaches El Salvador and Nicaragua

  • "We did two tests of suspicious cases, one of them came out negative and the other came out positive."
  • Nicaragua's First Lady and Vice President said that the person affected is a Nicaraguan who recently traveled to Panama and returned to the country last Monday by air.
  • Nicaragua joins the five countries in Central America where the virus has already been detected.

President Nayib Bukele confirmed the first case of coronavirus in El Salvador on Wednesday in a person who traveled to Italy. The Nicaraguan government also confirmed its first case of COVID-19 Wednesday in a 40-year-old man who arrived a few days ago from Panama. They were the last two countries in Latin America that had not reported infections.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), also known as 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), and novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) is a viral respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). It was first detected during the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

“We did two tests of suspicious cases, one of them came out negative and the other came out positive, that is, officially we already have a COVID-19 case in El Salvador,” President Bukele said. Bukele pointed out that the patient, whose identity and sex was not provided, “is a person whose migratory departure to Italy is recorded but who is not admitted (to El Salvador) and therefore it is presumed that he entered the country through a blind point.”

The president explained that the case was located in the municipality of Metapán, on the border with Guatemala and Honduras, more than 118 kilometers northwest of San Salvador. He assured the public that he ordered the establishment of a “sanitary cord” for 48 hours in the town to “trace the epidemiological links of the patient.”

The sanitary cord, as indicated, is implemented since Wednesday night by the Army. A group of 80 experts has been deployed in the area to identify the rest of the people who had contact with the infected person, who is isolated. “As he entered a blind spot, it is very likely that he had contact with several people and many of these people could be contaminated,” said Bukele, who added that “we are going to continue with this stage of containment.”

Coronaviruses are species of virus belonging to the subfamily Coronavirinae in the family Coronaviridae, in the order Nidovirales. There are seven known strains of human coronaviruses, including COVID-19.

He regretted that this person’s decision to enter the country through a blind spot, who was not among the quarantined citizens, “is going to cost thousands of lives of Salvadorans.” The Salvadoran head of state stressed that the national emergency and the state of emergency decreed by the Legislative Assembly over the weekend has allowed the implementation of the sanitary cord in Metapan, and preparing the “small and precarious” health system to face the pandemic.

The Case in Nicaragua

The regime of Daniel Ortega reported that the COVID-19 infected man is isolated in a special intensive care unit of one of the 19 hospitals enabled to treat this disease. Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo assured the public, after confirming the case through the national television network, that they have activated a national plan to protect the population against this pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified COVID-19 as “very high” risk of contagion.

Murillo, Ortega’s wife, said that the person affected is a Nicaraguan who recently traveled to Panama and returned to the country last Monday by air. Murillo announced that the government will perform tests on all people who have had contact with the patient, including those who traveled on the flight and are in Nicaragua. “Anyone who has had contact with him, anyone in his family who has symptoms, will immediately proceed to take the sample to perform the test,” she said.

Murillo assured that the man began to present symptoms from Tuesday “with fever, sore throat and dry cough.” An official, who did not specify in which of the 19 authorized hospitals the affected person is confined, clarified that the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nicaragua is imported, that is, she stressed, that it was spread outside the Nicaraguan borders.

In this way, Nicaragua joins the five countries in Central America where the virus has already been detected, as well as Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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