Photo: Infobae, retrieved.
- Delcy Rodríguez announced on Monday from the presidential palace at Miraflores that there are seven new cases: three in Barinas, two in Aragua, one in Caracas and one in Miranda. The total of cases, according to their sources, is 84. She asked medical students in their last two years of school and senior students in nursing schools to remain in hospitals and also called for retired medical personnel to join in as volunteers. She asked them to register in the Patria system to have their information for contact when needed. She said there’ll be a special plan for center states because 70% of 84 confirmed cases are there:Caracas (20), Miranda (31) and Vargas (8). She said transit and movement will be restricted even more.
- Jorge Rodríguez said that, as a prevention measure, they’ll prescribe chloroquine for people who have been in contact with COVID-19 patients and the medical personnel treating them (experts have warned about the terrible side effects of this anti-malaria drug). He also shared astounding figures: “If we hadn’t decreed a quarantine, there’d be around 3,000 cases (?).” He said there’s treatment for 115,000 patients but the country will never reach that figure and that 11,605,744 people took the Patria system survey. During the weekend, they visited 18,365 people and only 135 had symptoms. The hospital network has 11,000 available beds, CDIs have 4,003 and private centers 4,759, with over 4,000 more beds in hotels. He reiterated that there are 1,213 ICU beds in the country with ventilators and 573 of those are in the public hospital network. Two weeks ago, experts said that there are only 83 beds with ventilators.
- Epidemiologist Julio Castro demanded transparency of epidemiology information. He emphasized that there’s more uncertainty than dogma surrounding COVID-19, that the available evidence of effective treatment is “truly limited and controversial”.
- Curaçao is filing a complaint for 162 million dollars against PDVSA for their mismanagement of the island’s oil refinery, said a Refineria di Korsou (RdK) executive. The island took over a storage terminal property of PDVSA in Bonaire, to demand compliance with their expired payment claims, maintenance costs and damage to the environment. The demand for oil in the world has dropped because of the pandemic, as have done the prices and revenue margins of many refineries, which increases demand for storage space. PDVSA ran this refinery for 34 years, until 2019 and the U.S. sanctions interrupted the operations. PDVSA didn’t make any of the rent payments, didn’t comply with RdK agreements or maintenance requirements.
- According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, there are over 341,000 cases in the world, over 15,800 people have died and 100.000 have recovered in 174 countries and territories affected. The WHO warned that the pandemic is accelerating. Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that since the first case was reported, it took 67 days to hit the 100,000 patients mark, in 11 days they reached 200,000 and 300,000 after four more days. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recommended an immediate ceasefire global agreement to protect vulnerable populations in conflict areas during the coronavirus spread. The UN will request 2 billion dollars in emergency humanitarian aid so vulnerable countries can face the crisis.
- The pandemic took 10,000 lives in Europe. The last bulletin in Italy, on March 23rd, confirmed 6,078 deaths and close to 64,000 cases. However, that day’s mortality rate, 602, dropped for the second day in a row. Over 2,300 people have died in Spain and there are 35,100 cases. France reported 860 deaths and 2,000 cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a three-week lockdown in the Uk, where deaths went from 54 to 335 in the last 24 hours. The German government applied new measures that cost hundreds of thousands of euros, like we’d only seen after WWII, to alleviate the economic contraction, predicted to be around 5%. EU countries approved the European Commission’s proposal to suspend rules of budgetary discipline, to allow governments to increase public expenses to face the coronavirus pandemic.
- The U.S. is already the third country in the world with more COVID-19 cases: 40,000 cases and 458 deaths. Brazil surpassed 1,100 cases and reported 18 more deaths. Chile reported 746 cases and two deaths; Mexico has 316 cases and three deaths; Argentina 266 cases and four deaths; Colombia has 235 cases. Several countries have imposed strict quarantine measures to stop the pandemic. The region’s economies are expecting a tough blow after the drop of tourism and industries not working. Four out of ten Mexicans consider López Obrador’s management of the crisis terrible. A 13-year-old patient died in Panama, one of the youngest victims so far. In Chile, the number of cases has doubled in three days, as it has in Brazil, Peru and Colombia. The sole advantage is that they’ve been able to take some measures, so they might not be on their way to a disaster like we’ve seen in Italy or Spain.
- IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva warned that the global recession because of the pandemic might be worse than the one following the financial crisis of 2008.
- Josep Borrell said that the block backs the requests made by Venezuela and Iran to the FMI to face the pandemic.
- Chavismo’s foreing minister Jorge Arreaza said that he held a meeting with UN representatives to figure out the details of the Special Cooperation Plan: the UN will help with test kits and evaluations of our healthcare system.
Our healthcare system has been in crisis for years, with diminished infrastructure and no supplies. Facing a pandemic with these characteristics demands a lot more than rhetoric; if they’re asking the IMF for billions of dollars, they can’t say every day that there’s plenty of medicine and that the health system is in top shape and can handle the epidemic emergency amid a complex humanitarian emergency. Venezuelans have the right to know what’s happening. Publishing the epidemic bulletin is necessary in order to understand this emergency and what phase we’re in. Sanitary information is being hidden from us and we have a severe problem of fuel distribution. The regime despises transparency.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.