In Nicaragua, there is no defined strategy or official figures regarding the spread of COVID-19. On the contrary, the government, instead of adopting isolation measures, promotes massive activities and forces medical personnel to omit and / or misrepresent information.
This stance has been harshly criticized by former public officials and the health sector. To date, the Nicaraguan Medical Association and 33 specialty associations issued a statement urging citizens to take on a voluntary national quarantine.
In addition to the sectors mentioned above, one of the actors that has also appealed to the citizen consciousness and voluntary care of the other, has been the Catholic Church. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Catholic clergy, in addition to spiritual assistance, have recommended quarantine as a measure of containment of the virus, in contradiction to the government’s discourse.
For this reason, last April, the government prohibited the Church from implementing a medical center to combat coronavirus. Recently, Vice President Rosario Murillo called the Bishops who expressed their concern about the health of the people “demons who preach hatred” and accused them of making “calls from bell towers of hatred”.
Although the government uses religious language and even engages in activities with religious connotations, especially Christian ones, this does not imply support for the Church in the country, but rather implies the implementation of a political strategy. In this sense, the Catholic Church and other religious groups that are detractors of the government are under constant scrutiny and have become the target of defamation and other verbal and/or physical attacks from the government and party militants.