Venezuela: One of the Countries with Fewer Tests in the Hemisphere

The Venezuelan population is facing lockdowns with power outages and water shortages, poor internet access, lack of food and medicine and with the black market dollar at 100,000 bolivars.

Photo: Local10, retrieved.
  • Pediatrician Alejandro Crespo Freytes (@AleCrespoF) tweeted an important thread about the inconsistencies in official figures of COVID-19 tests: Out of 54,662 tests reported til Sunday, there are 159 confirmed cases (0.3%), which is incoherent if we compare it to the tests and positive cases in countries like Spain (35.5%), Ecuador (30%) and the U.S. (19%), among others. The WHO keeps pointing out the importance of running as many tests as possible and reiterated a relevant fact that defines our high vulnerability: there are too few hospital beds and out of those, only 84 are in ICUs. In addition, Venezuela is the country with the lowest Sanitary Security Index rating in Latin America. 
  • Jorge Rodríguez insisted the quarantine is the correct policy to “defeat COVID-19” and said that the curve has been flattened in Venezuela. In the last 24 hours, they confirmed six new cases: three men and three women spread in the states of Vargas (2), the Capital District (1), Trujillo (1) and Táchira (2), for a total of 165 patients. 65 people have allegedly recovered. He emphasized that most of the cases are between patients ages 20-50, and asked for strict isolation at home. 
  • In Táchira, there were several accusations of abuses on Venezuelans who have returned to the country, aggressions, little logistics and medical attention, low sanitary controls and permanent GNB custody. 
  • On Monday, there were failures in the electric system and blackouts in the states of Carabobo, Zulia, Aragua, Portuguesa, Falcón and Táchira, and brief interruptions in other states. Corpoelec doesn’t report about the persistent cases of power outages in the country. 
  • Severe fuel shortages affect the entire country. Imposing a quarantine worked as a temporary relief on the demand, but most of the economy has stopped, patients, doctors, nurses and agricultural producers among others must travel around our territory and Nicolás’s government hasn’t even bothered to solve it. 
  • The AN’s Finance Commission reported that “hyperinflation continues despite the pandemic. Inflation in March was 21.2% and cumulative inflation for the first three months of 2020 was 145.3%,” said deputy Ángel Alvarado. Interannual inflation was 3,365%.
  • On Monday, the black market dollar surpassed the 100,000 bolivars bar. 
  • Last Saturday, bioanalyst Andrea Sayago published on her hospital’s WhatsApp group chat, in Trujillo state, an order for tests on a patient with COVID-19. Trujillo governor’s wife, Jacqueline Peñaloza, ordered Sayago’s detention. On Monday, she was sentenced to house arrest after she was charged with unlawful use by a public officer of privileged information. 
  • Activist Melanio Escobar denounced that PNB officers detained Luis Serrano from NGO Redes Ayuda and workers of Farmarato pharmacy when Serrano was receiving medical supplies that Redes Ayuda donates to press workers while they cover coronavirus. Even though they were released, this is another instance of police forces blocking humanitarian work. 
  • Neonatologist José Ángel Chavero denounced that in Puerto Ordaz, southern Venezuela, hematologist Juan Cassiani was detained for breaking the curfew imposed by governor Justo Noguera. Dr. Cassiani was on his way to the ER to care for a pregnant patient and the police ignored his credentials and his safe passage documents. He was also released. 
  • Deputy  Américo De Grazia shared on Twitter the Yekuana and Sanema del Río Caura’s tribes’ complaints for the presence of armed groups who are raping their women, abusing their communities and contaminating their regions, the terrible price we’re paying for the Orinoco Mining Arc. 
  • Jorge Rodríguez denounced that from Colombia, paramilitaries and mercenaries are trying to sneak into the country to sow violence. On Monday, he said they’d captured three of them and got their fingerprints, as it’s done with everyone entering the country. Apparently, fingerprints now tell you a persons’ profession: paramilitary or mercenary. He announced a curfew in the San Antonio del Táchira and Ureña municipalities, from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. 
  • Nicolás’s Prisons minister, Iris Varela, granted 283 measures for the release of  inmates of Yare (161) and El Rodeo (122). Even though she gave a lecture and lessons similar to what Paulo Coelho would say in the interview she gave to the state media covering it, Varela didn’t mention similar measures for political prisoners. 
  • On Monday, the regime demanded the Deutsche Welle include the chavista version about the incident between the Resolute cruise ship and a Venezuelan Navy ship. 
  • New York City’s 2nd Appeals Court denied Cilia Flores’ nephews Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas and Efraín Campos Flores’ appeal for drug trafficking charges. In December 2017, they were sentenced to 18 years in jail, for their involvement in trafficking over 800 kilos of drugs to the U.S.
  • The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, reiterated that they believe that sanctions imposed on governments of countries like Cuba and Venezuela can’t block delivering humanitarian aid. 
  • The UN Security Council will meet for the first time on Thursday to debate about the pandemic. They’ve been paralyzed for three weeks because of divisions among its five permanent members, so nine out of ten other members formally asked for a session.

There are 1,346,299 coronavirus cases and over 74,600 deaths in the world. Europe has over half of the cases (655,000), followed by (352,000) and Asia Pacific (112,000), but only in America the curve keeps rising. The U.S. is still the country with more infections (367,000), followed by Spain (136,675) and Italy (132,547). Germany is the fourth country surpassing the 100,000-case barrier, and France is close to joining in. Italy is the country with the most deaths (16,523), while Spain reported 13,341 and the U.S. 10,908. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in the ICU, after his health took a turn for the worse.

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.