A military officer and two policemen escorted a couple of young men off their respective horses near the Guasaule River's shores.

This move was part of the authorities' mission to block the Nicaraguans' entry to Honduras in the face of the seeming indifference of Managua to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The riders, the authorities found, were Honduras nationals who were crossing from Nicaragua through what was called "a blind spot on the border." They carried blocks of cheese which, according to them, would be sold in their communities.

A member of the Honduran police who permitted the two men to get in sans any penalty said, "We are all hungry."  

According to Lt. Carlos Wilfredo Cruz who was equipped with an M-16 rifle, it is the mission of the Honduran officials assigned at the border to prevent infections from Nicaraguan personnel entering with the virus.

Strict Border Surveillance

Both Costa Rica and Honduras have constricted border surveillance in the past weeks for protection from what the two governments regard as an insufficient response by Nicaragua to the COVID-19 crisis. 

More so, while many nations employ restrictive measures which include stay-at-home directives and closures of borders to contain COVID-19, in Nicaragua, no restrictions have been declared, and, in contrast, Daniel Ortega's government has called for mass celebrations and marches.

Authorities are also patrolling the undergrowth where there is illegal trade like that of the smuggled cheese, flowing in both ways.

And, as the Honduran military and police prohibit Nicaraguans from passing through the so-called blind spots, "customs, health, and immigration authorities have strengthened as well, the "epidemiological scrutiny" near the border.

According to Rosana Ventura, the border customs administrator, they are concerned that what they call "the sister republic of Nicaragua" does not take any preventive measure against COVID-19. 

Examining the Truckers 

Nicaragua has officially reported eight mortalities and 25 confirmed COVID-19 cases, however, civil organizations have reported over a thousand infections and almost 200 fatalities.

Jose Alfredo Sanchez, a doctor examining the truckers and is in charge of the approval of the truckers' entry into the Honduran territory, also asks those who he examines if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptom and forewarning them to the risk of the said illness.

Specifically, after passing the examination with Sanchez, 50-year-old Edy Roberty Taltique, a Guatemalan transporter carrying "shipment of reels of papers from Costa Rica to Guatemala" claimed that the authorities of Costa Rica have taken better measures to combat the disease in another report.

In Costa Rica, at the border's entrance, a swab testing is required before entry at the territory. Then, from the entrance, the sample is brought to the lab. 

Once the results are available and the entering individuals are clear from the illness, they can already enter. In connection to this, Costa Rica started testing all truckers entering the nation with cargo. 

More so, those found with symptoms like cough or nasal congestion, Daniel Salas, the Health Minister said, would not be allowed to enter.

The country has also mobilized its police forces, which include the OIJ or the Judicial Investigation Police, to strengthen the border surveillance and control the Nicaraguans' entry to the country.

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