Photo: France24, retrieved.
- Jorge Rodríguez confirmed four new cases of COVID-19 in Venezuela, for a total of 171 on Thursday: three women and a 13-year-old in Portuguesa, Trujillo, Aragua and Nueva Esparta states. He said that 84 people, 49% of cases, have recovered (under criteria that doesn’t match the WHO’s, which establishes that they must go three weeks without symptoms and two negative test results every other day). He said that most cases are in Miranda state (62 cases and 2 deaths), followed by the Capital District and Vargas state. He said that if the quarantine hadn’t been imposed as early as it was, there’d be 16,800 cases today, without explaining why. He reiterated that most of our cases are imported or because of contact with travelers. He also compared their handling of the pandemic with Colombia and blamed Colombia and Brazil for the contagions. He said that Venezuela established an “epidemic barrier” in Táchira state and that they’d be “more careful in illegal passageways.” He said Colombia has more cases than what they’ve reported and delays in diagnostics. He said that Venezuela is the Latin American country with more tests done: 4,492 per million inhabitants (a total of 139,282). He didn’t say if they’re fast response or PCR tests. The figures reported by the UN last week were 1,779 tests in total.
- Numbers galore: last Sunday, Delcy Rodríguez said that from March 13th to April 5th, they did 54,248 tests. On Wednesday, Nicolás said that they’d done 112,512. Barely 14 hours later, Jorge Rodríguez said that they’d done 139,282 tests, allegedly carrying out 85,034 tests in four days and 26,770 in less than 24 hours. Those figures can’t be true.
- Chavismo’s protocol doesn’t contemplate presenting a balance of infected cases, recovered and deaths in “the last 24 hours” because their reports are always done at different times.
- So far, every death is explained because of a pre-existing condition (diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions or smokers). Nicolás even blamed patients’ negligence for the deaths. They also talked about the traveler’s “responsibility” for contagion. Testimonies by families are hard to read, because they had to set the record straight regarding a trip to Spain that never happened and had been used to justify the contagion and death.
- Nicolás wants to force all COVID-19 patients to stay in hospitals. With this idea, the risk of people choosing to not report their cases in order to stay home and not be taken forcefully to the public health system might increase.
- Juan Guaidó presented a free remote consultation service developed with Voluntarios por Venezuela, to provide remote medical assistance for Venezuelans on the phone or online. The website is pvvenezuela.com/teleconsulta and their Venezuelan phone number is 04122535878. Upon calling, people will have to answer some questions so the experts can determine if the consultation is necessary. The goal is helping the overcrowded health system.
- Guaidó reiterated that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect the citizens, and he’s aware that we can’t survive this pandemic without international funds. He also said that one of the non-negotiable conditions is that the financial aid can’t be managed by chavismo and he reiterated the importance of setting up a National Emergency Government.
- Deputy José Manuel Olivares said that Nicolás’s regime is lying and that there are over 25 cases in Nueva Esparta: “The delays in results will cost Venezuelan lives, PCR tests decentralization is urgent.”
- Venezuelan plantain farmers said on Thursday that 30% of the crop in Sur del Lago, in Zulia state, northwestern Venezuela, is at risk, because rains are starting and they don’t have diesel fuel or gas to operate the draining equipment.
- Testimonies of military officers’ terrible management of gas stations keep piling up. They decide who gets fuel, charge in dollars for privileges and don’t mind about the time people spend in line.
- Journalist Fabiola Zerpa reported that two tankers with 700,000 fuel barrels would arrive in Venezuela on Sunday, April 12th. She called it “a superficial relief.”
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed her concern about the possibility of governments taking more repressive measures amid the pandemic. She also expressed her worries about governments imposing restrictions on the press and freedom of expression.
- The U.S. Treasury Department assured that the OFAC keeps “broad exceptions and authorizations” to guarantee that sanctions on Venezuela don’t prevent transferring and delivering humanitarian aid.
- OPEC ministers and other oil producing countries are negotiating cuts of oil production to 10 million barrels a day for May and June. Later, and until the end of 2020, the quota will be reduced to 8 million daily barrels and afterwards to six million, until April 2021. Donald Trump talked to Vladimir Putin and Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman to increase oil prices. Trump said that oil producing countries are close to reaching an agreement.
- On Thursday, coronavirus cases in the world reached over 1,600,400, and over 95,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The Americas hold 45% of cases and Europe over 46%. 15,000 people have died in the U.S., almost as many as Spain and Italy. The Latin American epicenter is in Brazil, with almost 1,000 deaths. Colombia has 2,223 and 69 deaths. The Brazilian Health Minister announced that a 15-year-old native from the Yanomami tribe tested positive. The health of indigenous population because of their historic vulnerability is a great concern. The New York Times revealed a harsh truth: “Medical supply and equipment factories are telling scientists in Africa and Latin America that they can’t process their orders in the next few months, because the supply chain has already been promised to the U.S. and Europe.”
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