Nonsense Reports, Nonsense Answers

Without an epidemiology bulletin, a repressive regime with no reliable technical team seems to be leading us towards a worse disaster than what we already have.

Photo: BBC, retrieved.
  • Official bulletins lose their value because of the difference between the number of COVID-19 cases chavismo registers and what’s happening in the rest of the region. Delcy Rodríguez said that in the last 24 hours, four new cases were confirmed and the figure increased to 159 infected people in the country. She gave details on the new cases: a 29-year-old patient in Nueva Esparta, a 62-year-old woman in Sucre state and a 31-year-old man in Baruta (Caracas). She said that so far, they’ve tested 54,248 people, which would make Venezuela the country in Latin America “with more tests per million inhabitants.” The case reported earlier by Lara governor Carmen Meléndez, the fifth in the state, wasn’t considered in Delcy’s numbers. 
  • Hundreds of Venezuelans arrived in the country this weekend from Colombia. They worked as street vendors, have few resources and they’re immigrants, so they can’t isolate or quarantine abroad. Chavismo spoke of compatriots fleeing xenophobia, labor abuse and the pandemic, and how nobody does controls like Venezuela. The regime’s authorities ordered civilian and military deployment to evaluate, isolate and feed the returning Venezuelans, saying nothing about the reasons that led those people to leave Venezuela.
  • Chavismo promoted Nicolás’s open letter to “the American public,” where he asked it to reject “a bloody armed conflict of unknown duration” against Venezuela. He mentioned his surprise, because “while the world is paralyzed trying to control a pandemic,” Trump only wants to “threaten Venezuela.” Of course, coherent as always, that same night Nicolás announced his new Tik Tok account. 
  • Italy registered 525 deaths, the lowest figure since March 19th, and authorities comment on how to slowly lift the lockdown orders if the trend continues. Italy has had 15,800 deaths and over 129,000 cases. 
  • Spain announced a slow down of the pandemic in their territory, (12,418 deaths and 130,759 caes). Last Sunday, they reached their lowest figures: 6,023 new cases and 674 deaths. 
  • The UK registered 621 new deaths and 5,903 new cases (47,806 in total). Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to the hospital as a precaution because he presented COVID-19 symptoms. Queen Elizabeth addressed the citizens and asked them to remain united to overcome the pandemic, which has caused almost 5,000 deaths in the country. 
  • France has had over 8,000 deaths and German authorities confirmed that they haven’t reached the contagion peak of the pandemic, that’s why “the government’s role is to prepare and prepare the population for the most difficult part of this crisis (…) The time when we reach the highest contagion rate is still to come,” said their chancellor. 
  • The general director of the American public health system, Jerome Adams, said that in the next week they’ll be going through a time “like Pearl Harbor, like 9/11” because of the deaths they expect as a consequence of the pandemic. “This is going to be the saddest, most difficult week in the lives of most Americans.” 
  • In Colombia, they’ve confirmed 1,485 cases (79 new) and three deaths (35 in total) so far. They’ve reinforced Army deployment in the Colombia-Ecuador border to control illegal crossings and restrict the access of immigrants. Peruvian sanitary authorities reported 535 new cases, the highest increase in a day since the epidemic started (2,281 cases and 83 deaths in total); Chile confirmed 310 new cases (4,471 total cases) and 34 deaths (7 new deaths in the last 24 hours); the Haitian government announced their first death caused by coronavirus, a 55-year-old man, with a clinical history of hypertension and diabetes. 
  • The World Health Organization confirmed over 82,000 new cases in the world. According to the map designed by Johns Hopkins University, there’s been 1,273,794 cases and over 69,400 deaths. The figures keep showing an acceleration in the global number of cases and daily deaths, even though the largest contagion epicenters like Italy and Spain have stabilized. The U.S. remains the most concerning case. 
  • China published reports on how people in Wuhan are “going back to normal” after two months of quarantine. COVID-19’s terrible reach in other countries makes us doubt China’s official numbers. 
  • A female tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York, has tested positive for coronavirus, reported veterinarian authorities, an event worth highlighting because it’s the first case of animal contagion in the U.S. Nadia, the four-year-old feline, got it from a zoo employee. 
  • Pope Francis kicked off the Holy Week with a solitary event in Saint Peter’s Basilica. This image was preceded by the one from March 27th, when the pope gave the Urbi et Orbi blessing from an empty St. Peter’s Sq. in the Vatican. 

Venezuelans should have access to epidemic bulletins. It’s impossible to know in which phase of the epidemic we are without them. Knowing what happens in Europe and what their authorities foresee, despite everything they’ve already gone through, gives us a framework, but without hard data, there’s no way to make the right decisions. Please, wash your hands, stay home and keep your social distance.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.