Central American Update - Pandemia Corona Virus (COVID19)

Last March 11th, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, as a global pandemic, due to the speed in which the virus has spread in many countries. WHO is especially worried about the inaction of the world population facing this virus, this is why they are expecting that, after having declared it a pandemic, the population will take more severe measures to avoid massive contagion.

In Central America, most countries have already taken prevention measures such as restriction in migration, suspension of all educational activities, including colleges and universities, indefinite boarder closing, working from home, restriction in public transportation, etc.

Nicaragua is the only country in the region that has yet to dictate any prevention measure to face the pandemia. However, in light of the information regarding COVID-19 from news and social media, the general public has started to take their own measures to implement, both for prevention and against spreading the disease.

Our population is already implementing higiene protocols and other measures to shield themselves and others from being a focus of contagion.  

In accordance to the article 100 of the Labor Code of Nicaragua, it is the employers’ obligation to adopt preventives measures necessary to protect the life and health of their employees. Therefore, most of the private sector companies have already implemented campaigns delineating hygiene protocols (alcohol gel, hand washing, etc.), both for employees and visitors, and have even restricted their workers out of office activities to those strictly necessary.

It is expected that, in the next few days, depending on each employer, working from home will be implemented to reduce the use of public transportation and the affluence of people in the offices themselves, those being the fastest points of transmission of the disease, according to WHO. This measure of working from home is contemplated in the Labor Code of Nicaragua, article 155. However, article 159 of the same Code states that the work period from home can be no longer than 15 days. Which is why, if the Government does not declare a state of sanitary emergency, the maximum amount of time to work from home will not be longer than the period allowed for in aforementioned article.

Actualmente China ha dado por superado el pico de transmisión de COVID19, por lo que han retomado paulatinamente operaciones comerciales. Sin embargo, muchos paises a los que exportan suministros y de los cuales reciben importaciones han cerrado sus fronteras como parte del plan de contingencia para evitar la transmisión del virus, por lo que continua la desaceleración económica.

I is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only world health, but also global economy. Chine, one of the principal world powers, from the origin of the virus has suffered a big blow to its economy, due to the high contagion rate that forced a commercial and operational lock down. This affected not only China, but the rest of the world that rely on their production of raw materials.

Other countries such as the USA have already taken severe measures that affect their economy, suffering a historic downfall of the stock exchange. Tourism and travel are industries that are feeling the impact of the measures the most, with all of migration restricted in several countries. Our economy will take a long time to recover.

In Lexincorp Nicaragua, we are taken the necessary measures to protect our employees and their families. We are capable of continuing rendering our services remotely in case of a national quarantine, ensuring as much as possible that their business and legal needs not stop. 

Linda Barquero Peralta

Senior Associate

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