Venezuela adopted a more restrictive quarantine to try to contain the advance of the new coronavirus. In early June, the country tried to loosen measures to control the pandemic. During that period, the number of infected and deaths caused by Covid-19 doubled – almost 8,000 official cases and more than 70 deaths (on 8/7).
The neighboring country also has the help of Doctors Without Borders to contain the spread of the disease. In the city of Petare alone, there are 100 doctors assigned to the aid.
Check out an explanatory video on the progress of coronavirus in Nicolas Maduro’s country.
Before the pandemic, the country was already facing a historic political, economic and social crisis. Doctors and nurses recently reported that soap and disinfectants are “practically nonexistent” in their clinics and hospitals, and hyperinflation makes it increasingly difficult for professionals to bring these supplies from home.
In Caracas, the lack of water in hospitals is constant. More remote hospitals went from weeks to months without water. Patients and professionals need to bring their own water to drink and clean.
“We are facing a tremendous pandemic in the world. In Venezuela, it is the beginning of the pandemic, it is the real outbreak. Before, we had seen the arrival of the pandemic, now we are seeing the real outbreak,” said Maduro during a videoconference meeting with the team government agency charged with stopping the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Since Monday (22), circulation on the main roads of ten states in the country has been limited, with what is being called “special containment barriers”. Caracas and the border regions were most affected by the measures.
Four out of five Venezuelans are unable to afford the basic food basket. Poverty in the country reached 96.2% of households in 2019, while extreme poverty reached 79.3%. The indices place the country in the same conditions as Central American, Caribbean and Africa countries in terms of poverty and malnutrition. Considering poverty, social inequality and political instability, Venezuela appears in second place in the list of 12 countries, behind only Nigeria and with a worse situation than countries like Iran, Congo and Zimbabwe.
The data are from the National Survey of Living Conditions (ENCOVI), conducted by the Institute of Economic and Social Research (IIES) of the Catholic University Andrés Bello (UCAB), in Venezuela. The survey was carried out between November 2019 and March 2020, with an estimated sample of 16,920 households, although it was completed in only 9,932 households due to the Covid-19 quarantine.