Photo: Anadolu Agency, retrieved.
- The coronavirus transmission curve in Venezuela has been the fastest in the world: 33 cases in four days. Let’s be clear: Italy, which has devastating figures, took 24 days to go from one case to 15.
- Nicolás said from Miraflores that out of 33 cases, 18 are women and 15 men. We have eight cases in Caracas, 13 in Miranda state, five in Vargas, two in Aragua state, two in Anzoátegui state, one in Mérida state, 1 one in Cojedes state and one in Apure state.
- Nicolás said that “for every case, there are 27 more to confirm.” Meaning that at the time, there can be 896 cases that we don’t know about. He insisted that “all cases are imported (…) 28 from Europe and five from Cúcuta,” as if that excused his performance.
- Unlike the rest of the world, most cases in Venezuela are among patients under 50 years old, only four confirmed cases in patients over 60 and no cases in patients over 80. The distribution is as follows: two cases in patients between 10 and 19 years old, seven in patients between 20 and 29 years old, 11 in patients between 30 and 39, four in patients between 40 and 49, five in patients between 50 and 59, three in patients between 60 and 69 and one case between 70 and 79 years old.
- The person responsible for the recession and hyperinflation also said to businessmen that they can count on his support. But he warned that through the carnet de la patria he’ll be awarding benefits to workers and citizens. Once more, he uses political discrimination as a requirement for social benefits. This is inadmissible.
- Nicolás made the announcement from Miraflores. Everyone with him wore masks, and thanked 85% of people for abiding by the quarantine rule, in the states where it was declared. He also politicized the pandemic and said something that we know isn’t true: “At the moment, Venezuela has the necessary medicine to fight the coronavirus.”
- In several areas of the country, there’s been reports of potential coronavirus cases. The low quantity of test kits and the centralization of the process makes ruling out cases a lot slower. The test takes eight hours in a normal country.
- Caretaker President Juan Guaidó said that they’ll start working on finding sanitary humanitarian aid and the process for getting food into the country is back on track. He explained the shortages will get worse and that the failures of our water supply system make preventing the coronavirus transmission a lot harder. Guaidó asked the special attorney general to start the process for using protected funds to buy medical supplies, he said they’ll buy 3,500 kits for nurses in five of the country’s main hospitals and he’d soon give more information about the hygiene kit distribution.
- The general director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned that COVID-19 patients can pass the virus on after they have recovered, so isolation should last up to 15 days after the symptoms disappear. Tedros said that people who are caring for coronavirus patients must be in good health and rigorously follow preventive measures: wash their hands, keep social distance, don’t touch their face. Tedros said that patients and caregivers must wear masks when they’re together and the patient must use a different room and bathroom. He asked for something that Venezuela and many other countries can’t do: “We have a simple message for all countries: run tests on all potential cases.”
- Dr. Julio Castro expressed his reservations regarding quarantine as a method to stop the advance of COVID-19 in Venezuela. He said that the measure “hasn’t been able to modify the transmission rate” and that it may cause severe consequences for us: shortages of food, transportation and gas. Coronavirus arrived to our country amid a complex humanitarian emergency, and that’s why “we must urgently request an increase of humanitarian aid.”
- Venezuelans had to endure the lack of expertise of our military all day: officers made traffic worse and demanded the use of masks in all cases, paying no attention to reason.
- The customer protection state agency Sundde and the Commerce Ministry are visiting stores after complaints for overcharging. Banks are only working online.
- Dante Rivas, alleged protector of Nueva Esparta, suspended all travel to and from Margarita, by air or by sea: the island has been isolated.
- The government increased, without the National Assembly’s permission, the tax unit by 2,900%. It’s not worth 1,500 bolivars.
- On Monday, there were power outages in nine states: Apure, Barcelona, Zulia, Trujillo, Carabobo, Aragua, Lara, Mérida, Barinas and some areas of the Capital District.
- Military and police officers worked against press workers, blocking them from doing their job; holding them and making them delete footage.
- Add all of this to the fuel crisis: the country has been paralyzed more because of the lack of gas than because of the quarantine itself.
- Iván Duque said that Colombia established contact with Táchira’s governor Laidy Gómez and the National Assembly to work together against coronavirus. He also said that he authorized sharing data with Venezuela, in order to cooperate with the WHO. He announced that all borders would be closed until May 30th.
- Donald Trump said that the coronavirus crisis would last “until July or August” and recommended Americans work from home and avoid groups of over ten people, at least until April. He admitted that the country may be on its way to recession because of the pandemic, which he called “an invisible enemy.”
- G7 leaders agreed to cooperate in order to do what it takes to stop the economic and sanitary crises. “We’re committed to doing all that’s necessary to assure a strong global response through tight cooperation and heightened coordination of our efforts,” said the official statement published after a virtual meeting calling the COVID-19 pandemic a “human tragedy and a global health crisis.”
- The pandemic is serious and, unfortunately, chavismo has decided to make us think they’re doing something by leaving us in lockdown, without changing any other variable. The quarantine won’t reduce the number of cases, it will only make the transmission slower, and the thing will continue to be how many patients will get worse, how many will need intensive care for which we’re not ready. During the quarantine, Nicolás should invest in supplies and equipment that would allow medical personnel to deal with the complexity of the disease. Nothing he said in his speech meant he’s aiming for that or pointing in that general direction, so we should be obsessive about prevention.
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