Business leadership and social responsibility during COVID-19 times in Nicaragua

Eduardo Gutiérrez

In Nicaragua, according to the official reports made by the Ministry of Health (MINSA), as of March 26, 2020, there are only 2 reported cases of Covid-19. Nonetheless, been aware of the experience suffered by other countries, the Nicaraguan private sector has led the initiative to prevent any further spread of the virus in the country. These measures, which started to be applied for the most part in the second week of March of this year, have the determination to raise awareness on the viruses high level of infection, educate the people on measures to prevent further contagion and provide its workers with alternatives so they can stay safe.

Along these same lines, Nicaraguan companies have focused on informing workers of the importance of washing their hands with soap and hand sanitizer, avoiding crowds, avoiding physical contact when greeting, and keeping a distance of at least one meter from other people. Likewise, the private sector has made the decision to implement teleworking with employees that, according to their duties can still performed at home, ensuring that their staff can be protected and do not have a higher risk of infection.

On the other hand, entities that because of their line of work cannot carry out telecommuting, including free trade zones, have taken the following preventive measures:

1. They have reduced the presence of personnel in their facilities, ordering non-essential personnel to use any vacations days accumulated by law and stay home;

2. Essential personal that need to work on company grounds, have been provided with facial masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, to prevent them from contracting the virus;

3. Working hours have been reduced and staff shifts have been rotated;

4. Companies have temporarily closed operations.

The guidelines that are being implemented by the private sector have, as their main goal, to protect the lives of workers and the rest of citizenry. It should be noted that, as of today, the preventive and corrective measures that the Nicaraguan government will be applying at the national level are still to be confirmed.