The dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, decreed this Sunday (21) a confinement of 14 days to stop a wave of contagion of the Brazilian variant of the coronavirus. The restrictions take effect on Monday (22) and last until the end of Holy Week.
“I am announcing that Holy Week this year will once again be in radical quarantine,” Maduro said in a statement broadcast on public television. “We will have fourteen days, two weeks of radical quarantine […] with the greatest vigilance of the State and the institutions, and we will do it for the health of the family, for the health of our people ”.
The Venezuelan leader said the Brazilian variant of the virus has been a “fundamental factor” in the increase in confirmed cases in the country (preliminary studies indicate that the so-called P.1 variant, first identified in the Amazon, is more transmissible than Sars – Original CoV-2, originating in China).
In addition, Maduro indicated that there was a relaxation of social detachment on the part of the Venezuelan population, citing as an example a party in a hotel in Caracas in which more than 200 people flocked until the intervention of the police.
According to Maduro, Venezuela is already registering an increase in the occupancy of hospital beds and to avoid the collapse of health, we must “minimize the unnecessary mobility of the population, avoid concentrations of people in public spaces [e] reduce non-core banking and business activities ”.
On Friday (19), Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez had already warned that Venezuela is facing a second wave of contagion “much more contagious than that recorded in August and September 2020”, and that the increase in cases is a reflection of the Brazilian variant, registered for the first time in the country at the beginning of the month.
This Saturday (20), Venezuelan health authorities have counted 105,306 cases of Covid-19 and 1,483 deaths caused by the disease since the start of the pandemic, but the figures are questioned by the opposition and by defense organizations human rights. Venezuela has 30 million inhabitants.
The country began its vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in February, first with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V and, later, with the immunizer from Chinese laboratory Sinopharm.
The opposition, led by self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó, has also secured $ 30 million (165 million reais) to import vaccines through the international Covax consortium.