One More Day without COVID-19 Figures | Caracas Chronicles

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Photo: NTN24, retrieved.
  • In a mandatory broadcast, neither Nicolás Maduro nor his vice-president, Delcy Rodríguez, updated the coronavirus figures in the country. For the second day in the first week of general quarantine, after having admitted to the first cases, Venezuela doesn’t report new ones, or a single death. So far, no doctors have given information on state media. Coronavirus has only been addressed by military officers and politicians. 
  • Nicolás said that the survey they’ve been doing through the Patria platform since Monday has been answered by 9 million people. With this data, they’ll detect suspicious cases and these will get medical attention “casa por casa” to rule them out and give them medicine. It’s unlikely that in five days, 9 million Venezuelans found out about the survey and were able to access the site, since we all have problems with our electricity and internet service. Nicolás said that every confirmed case of COVID-19 is getting treatment, celebrated that the quarantine is being 90% respected and assured that he has the support of the UN, WHO and that “we have all the medicine we need, we have enough quantities (…) The national pharmaceutical industry has the capability to produce 24 types of medicine needed to fight this virus,” he said. 
  • He also says that 130 Cuban doctors would be arriving on Friday for the Barrio Adentro system, that Russia sent a special humanitarian aid shipment for next week and he asked us to read a book about preventing the transmission of the virus. He asked for a prayer circle last night  and warned that “when normalcy returns, it will be a relative normalcy, surveilled normalcy.” 
  • Journalist Beatriz Adrián reported that an ambulance escorted by the CICPC arrived at Premier Country residential building in Campo Claro, Caracas, to pick up four people that were in a party in Los Roques and tested positive for coronavirus. There are 11 people left in preventive quarantine in the apartment. 
  • Journalist Javier Ignacio Mayorca reported that one GNB captain and one GNB sergeant were taken to a CDI yesterday for testing positive for coronavirus in Vargas State. Mayor Josy Fernández said that the Altos Mirandinos area already confirmed its first cases. 
  • Venezuelan oil prices dropped under 20 dollars, after it lost 7.41 units this week and closed at $19.53, said the Oil Ministry on Friday. 
  • An explosion at a PDVSA oil facility in northeastern Venezuela on Friday affects production of 37,000 barrels per day, said two sources who know about the incident and a document Reuters obtained. In addition, Curaçao’s Refineria di Korsou (RdK) occupied on Friday an oil storage terminal in Bonaire because of a payment dispute with PDVSA. 
  • Chavismo deployed their “ballenas”, vehicles used for controlling protests, to disinfect streets on Friday. An ode to repression. 
  • Chavismo didn’t publish the figures of the pandemic, but used its time to express their disgust for Luis Almagro’s reelection as OAS secretary general. 
  • The coronavirus pandemic keeps advancing, with over 260,000 cases and 10,000 deaths all over the world, half of them in Europe, even though 163 countries have been affected. The WHO warned young people on Friday that coronavirus can also be dangerous for them: “You’re not invincible, this virus can take you to the hospital or kill you,” said director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Around 500 million people are living in quarantine or have suffered from restriction of transit and movement, and are trying to understand isolation is crucial for diminishing contagion, while social media is full of tips and advice to make confinement easier. We’ll have to wait over a year to have a vaccine against COVID-19. Meanwhile, the UN estimates that around 40% of the population, over 3 billion people, lacks the resources to wash their hands at home, because they lack easy access to running water, can’t buy soap or simply aren’t aware of the importance of this practice.
  • Coronavirus has already killed 5,000 people in Europe, which remains the epicenter of this tragedy and Spain and Italy are, respectively, the countries with more cases after China. Italy registered 627 deaths from coronavirus, a record that pushes their figures to 4,032 deaths, while infections are over 47,000. Spain surpassed one thousand deaths and 20,000 cases. In the UK, the number of deaths keeps growing, 150 people have died. Germany has confirmed 19,848 infections (4,528 more than yesterday) and 67 deaths, while France has 12,612 cases (1,617 more than yesterday) and 450 deaths. 
  • In Latin America, over 2,400 cases have been registered: 16 new cases in Uruguay, for a total of 110. Paraguay admitted one local contagion after five positive cases confirmed yesterday and sadly confirmed its first death, a neurosurgeon. There are 63 new cases in Panama, for a total of 200. In Argentina, there are 30 new cases, 158 cases in total. In Ecuador, 59 new cases, for a total of 426 and 26 new cases in Costa Rica for a total of 113. There are 29 new cases in Peru, for a total of 263. Mexico confirmed its second death. Sanitary authorities reported 203 cases. 

An uninformed country is much more vulnerable. The quarantine and prevention measures make contagion slower but won’t avoid them. Sans data, anxiety grows and the expectation is the virus will be a catastrophe, while chavismo insists on assuming this tragedy as an opportunity for control and propaganda. Chavismo isn’t gearing up for the worst. Please, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and stay home.

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