The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announced this Sunday that Caracas and six states in the country are in a phase of “radical quarantine” to curb the spread of COVID-19, which today reached 15,463 cases with 142 deaths.
“Caracas, (and the states of) Miranda, Zulia, Sucre, Bolívar, La Guaira and Táchira are still in phase 1 of a radical quarantine,” Maduro said during a telematic act of work with the team in charge of preventing infections.
The president said he made the decision after extensive consultation with governors, mayors and a team of scientists who are on the trail of infections in Venezuela.
“The virus is running, where you least think the virus is,” Maduro added before admitting that Venezuela has “a problem” due to the progressive increase in cases.
Last March, when the first COVID-19 infections were detected, the country added 143 cases. In April 190, in May 1,178, in June 4,321 and, so far in July, 9,631 cases.
“It is evident that we have a problem, but we are in time to tackle it, we are in time to stop it,” insisted the governor, while asking Venezuelans to take extreme biosecurity measures, such as the use of masks, even in confined spaces, and the frequent hand washing with soap and water.
The Venezuelan president also said that the states of Anzoátegui, Aragua, Falcón, Nueva Esparta, Lara, Carabobo, Monagas and Mérida are entering a phase of partial flexibility, allowing them to open 10 branches of the economy.
For their part, the states of Portuguesa, Guárico, Barinas, Amazonas, Delta Amacuro, Trujillo, Cojedes and Apure will have permission next week to open 62 areas of commerce and industry.
Maduro pointed out that the returns of Venezuelan migrants through the illegal steps known as “trochas” and the celebrations that citizens make at their homes are two of the causes that explain the increase in infections.
“The rumbas have multiplied, and the more rumba, the more coronaviruses,” he said, asserting that 70% of the infections that the country registers occurred in celebrations of various kinds.
“Stop all that, compatriots, stop it, there will be plenty of time to celebrate … I call on Venezuela to redouble prevention measures to the highest level,” he added.
Likewise, Nicolás Maduro indicated that his government is preparing “several dozen new beds” in a multipurpose compound in western Caracas, known as Poliedro, which will serve to deal with “minor cases” if hospitals should collapse.
In this sense, he said that he took the idea “of what happened in Spain” with a convention center, and that “the time may be coming” to use the Polyhedron of Caracas to house those infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.