Venezuela Brings Pandemic Under Control

On May 15, Jorge Rodríguez, Vice President for Communication, Tourism and Culture of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, presented a detailed update on the results of his country's management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the country's total 469 confirmed cases, he said 229 -- close to 50 per cent -- had recovered, with 220 being treated in hospitals, clinics or followed in special comprehensive diagnostic centres. Ten people have died -- with no new deaths occurring since April 19.

Rodríguez reported that Venezuela's mortality rate was the lowest in the region, at an impressive 0.35 per million. Its low number of confirmed cases -- at 16 per million -- is surpassed only by Nicaragua’s four per million. Venezuela also has administered more tests per million (just over 18,000) than any other country in the region. While the cases and deaths reported by a good many countries and jurisdictions are widely considered to be underestimated because of the abominably low levels of testing, this is not something Venezuela can easily be accused of. Its aggressive testing policy has been made possible by the supply of test kits made available to it for both laboratory and rapid diagnostic tests by China and Russia. As well, its overall public health approach to combatting the coronavirus has been boosted with the help of Cuba's Henry Reeve Medical Brigade and other medical workers it has sent to assist Venezuelan doctors and health teams in implementing the personalized and community-based diagnostic and treatment model Cuba is renowned for.

Rodríguez provided graphs to show how Venezuela had indeed flattened the curve of COVID-19, while neighbouring countries continue to struggle with rising numbers and much higher death rates. He attributed Venezuela's success to the government having taken the decision early on to implement social distancing, the wearing of masks and strict quarantining, which had proven successful in China. It also moved quickly to institute a nationwide survey and household-to-household follow-up with anyone who reported COVID-like symptoms. As of May 15, 210,678 home visits were carried out. He emphasized that Venezuela's having controlled transmission of the disease is not a reason to relax these measures, as there is the risk of a resurgence in short order should the protocols be lifted. He announced that a million rapid tests are now going to be administered around the country to check for antibodies as part of planning for the future.

Rodríguez pointed out that Venezuela's low mortality and high recovery rate is also thanks to treatments provided to all COVID-19 patients, using a number of drugs that have proven helpful in Cuba, China and elsewhere, including Cuba's Interferon Alpha 2B and others.

In breaking down the data he presented, Rodríguez noted that the state of Nueva Esparta on the Island of Margarita had the highest number of cases in the country due to the fact that officials of a private baseball academy ignored the quarantine and travelled with some players to the Dominican Republic, where they became infected, then transmitted the virus to their students and others upon returning home.

Vice President Rodríguez also pointed out that during the month of May between 70 and 80 per cent of new cases had originated outside the country as migrants returned home in their tens of thousands from other South American countries, mainly Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru and Chile, where rates of infection are much higher and the pandemic has not been brought under control. In March alone, 34,000 migrants are reported to have returned to Venezuela, many because they were left without jobs, homes, any source of income or status in countries they have migrated to in search of work. The Venezuelan government has a repatriation policy and welcomes all Venezuelan citizens who wish to return from countries they migrated to, in many cases transporting them at its own expense. Upon arrival at the border, all are screened, tested and quarantined for 14 days with food and lodging provided at no cost in special centres, and those who require care are admitted to a treatment facility until they have recovered, in order to prevent transmission of the disease inside the country. 

This generous repatriation initiative is not something one will find reported in the imperialist media, that have gone out of their way in recent years to tell horror stories about Venezuelan "refugees" fleeing to countries whose governments are part of the Lima Group, which is engaged in demonizing the Venezuelan government and plotting with the U.S. to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro. These same media, along with hypocritical and dishonest international coup plotters, including the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada, refuse to acknowledge these undeniable achievements of the Venezuelan people and their government. Instead they continue to embrace a criminal imposter who is ready to see the blood of his compatriots shed at the hands of mercenaries, as the "legitimate president of Venezuela," and conspire with the worst of the worst in Latin America about how they are going to solve Venezuela's "humanitarian crisis," which they say threatens the entire region, all in order to justify their interference.

Congratulations to the Venezuelan government and people for the results they have achieved in managing and bringing the pandemic under control by prioritizing the health and well-being of the population, based on science and solidarity as first considerations! It is all the more worthy of recognition given the brutal siege they are under, including the constant and growing threat of a foreign invasion -- something the accomplices and appeasers of the U.S. imperialists in both the north and south of the hemisphere, to their shame, cannot bring themselves to condemn.

This article was published in

Volume 50 Number 17 - May 16, 2020

Article Link:
Venezuela Brings Pandemic Under Control


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