Nervousness about the spread of the coronavirus covid-19 deepens its footprint in Latin America. This Thursday, Venezuela announced the suspension for a month of all flights from Europe and Colombia.
Venezuela has suspended the arrival of flights from Europe, Colombia, Iran, Japan, South Korea and Panama, where one death has already been recorded among 11 confirmed cases.
The measure will be in force for 30 days, although the government of Nicolas Maduro has not clarified when it will enter into force.
President Maduro in his Thursday announcement also banned public gatherings. “Massive public demonstrations and activities, museums, concerts, marches, crowds and all possibilities of cultivation being created for the multiplication of this pandemic that is bringing down humanity will be prohibited,” said Maduro, who has also admitted that does not rule out the complete closure of its borders with Colombia and Brazil.
Unlike the rest of the countries that made this decision, Venezuela has not prohibited the arrival of flights from China. Instead, Maduro has stated that he asked the Chinese government “to send scientists” who have dealt with the situation in the country, the first focus of the epidemic.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Health has not yet confirmed a case, although it has reported 30 suspects.
Maduro declared a state of emergency in the country due to the pandemic. However, the country has been experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis since 2016, which epidemiologists warn is a worrying vulnerability factor in the face of the expansion of the coronavirus, since most health centers, including those designated as sentinels for the pandemic, have severe water supply failures and shortages of basic medical supplies.
“We are prepared to face these difficulties because we have been trained in the economic war,” said Maduro.