Photo: Diario Las Américas, retrieved.
- Delcy Rodríguez said that there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country this Wednesday, the official figure remains at 36 cases which are allegedly under strict surveillance. This could mean that there’s at least a huge problem regarding our ability to diagnose the virus, since the global pattern is daily growth of confirmed cases. She said that Nicolás asked the WHO for humanitarian aid to solve the coronavirus pandemic (he asked for test kits, medical supplies, assistance and technical cooperation). She said that the WHO director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was pleased by the measures the regime took in order to contain the advancement of the disease. Venezuela must be the only place in the world where cases don’t multiply, pretty weird, and the only oil country where coronavirus has forced prohibiting the sale of fuel to individuals, an issue Delcy didn’t mention.
- Diosdado Cabello said during his TV show that coronavirus is a biological weapon created by the U.S., that they took it to China and now “it’s backfiring.” He said that in merely a day, chavismo managed to stop COVID-19. Nicolás was on the show: he announced “a special bonus” and that test kits would arrive in the country on Thursday or Friday. He told 5 million Venezuelans who he claims answered the survey online using the Patria platform, that they would have to wait until Saturday to get medical attention, because the kits will arrive from China on Thursday or Friday. He expects to run one million tests (something not even South Korea has done and would be impossible to do in the INH’s only lab). One more propaganda exercise: they don’t want to understand the pandemic, they don’t want to save lives.
- Zulia governor Omar Prieto said there are 17 patients presenting “highly suspicious” symptoms and 41 patients under epidemiology surveillance, eight of them have been admitted in hospitals. He asked Zulians to “cut their electricity usage for as long as the quarantine goes on” (!). Delta Amacuro governor Lizeta Hernández said that 21 citizens present symptoms in the state. Táchira governor Laidy Gómez said that they have five potential cases. El Nacional reported that they detected four cases in El Helicoide: three women and one man, officers on the PNB’s bike brigade.
- Los Andes University Hospital said they can run the tests to rule out or confirm coronavirus cases in the Andean region.
- On Wednesday, the measure restricting the supply and sale of fuel and diesel to official vehicles, public transportation units and food came in force. The measure will be applied in several states: Aragua, Carabobo, Táchira, Bolívar, Zulia, Anzoátegui, Guárico, Sucre and Monagas. Gas stations will be closed down, except those which are considered “strategic reserve and for exclusive use for activities that keep order in the country,” said a memo that Crónica Uno obtained. Bolívar governor Justo Noguera announced that they won’t sell fuel to private citizens until further notice.
- The IMF rejected the request for 5 billion dollars made by Nicolás’s regime. The institution can’t consider the application for lack of clarity regarding international recognition of Maduro’s government.
- Juan Guaidó asked the Armed Forces to allow using ports and airports, so doctors can receive the aid that the caretaker government can obtain through international institutions. The regime ordered censoring the site the National Assembly launched to keep the public informed about coronavirus.
- Falcón governor Víctor Clark threatened newspaper La Mañana for reporting about the poor water supply in the state.
- There are over 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, and over 8,000 deaths. Unesco said that over 850 million children and teenagers in 102 countries are missing school. The ILO estimates that the coronavirus could cause the loss of up to 25 million jobs. In the best case scenario, COVID-19 being contained shortly and economic activities resuming soon, 5.3 million jobs would be lost. “Countries must isolate, we have to run tests, we have to isolate cases and track the contacts,” insisted WHO’s general director. WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove explained that increasing the amount of labs that can run the tests is a priority: “It’s a vital part of the strategy against the virus. The amount of people who can run these tests is also important.”
- Several governments agreed on three key public policy items to solve the coronavirus crisis: financial aid and direct subsidies, which will allow citizens to afford the necessary goods to survive quarantine; investing in protective gear to avoid transmission of the disease and increase medical supplies (masks, gloves, goggles and scrubs). They also agreed on choosing additional infrastructure that would allow them to solve the collapse of health systems: from stadiums to hotels will be used for coronavirus patients. The WHO is coordinating a team of experts in different countries to share their data on treatment for coronavirus cases, they’ve called it Solidarity Trial.
- In Europe: there’s been over 3,000 deaths in Italy (China had over 3,200 deaths), on their worst day since the pandemic started (475 deaths) and the number of cases is 28,710. Spain, the third most affected country in the world, reports 14,000 confirmed cases and over 600 deaths. President Pedro Sánchez warned that worse days will come, because the health system will receive more cases, the quarantine will go longer and the consequences on the economy will become evident. France decreed sanitary emergency (12 days) to legislate by decree and have the ability to respond to the crisis, which has caused 175 deaths and over 7,700 cases. In Germany, Chancellor Merkel said that “our country hasn’t seen a challenge that depends so much on our collective, solidary action since WWII.”
- Latin America registers over 1,200 cases. Chile has over 230 cases and declared a state of catastrophe for 90 days. Colombia and Bolivia announced a sanitary emergency. Argentina suspended domestic flights, buses and long-distance trains to stop domestic tourism. In Brazil, where 300 cases have been confirmed, they declared a state of calamity after the first death tied to coronavirus. Potential cases quadrupled between Monday and Tuesday. Jair Bolsonaro announced the border with Venezuela would be closed for 15 days, as a result of “the inability of the dictatorship to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic”. The measure doesn’t apply to trucks with goods or humanitarian aid.
Our country isn’t the barracks. The Armed Forces have done poorly in this crisis. Chavismo keeps trying to prove that they have no political will or technical capacity to understand the dimension of this pandemic, much less to solve it. Without transparency, they only add panic to terrible circumstances. Take care of yourself. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Stay home.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.