Venezuela has confirmed two cases of coronavirus, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Friday, adding that the country is suspending classes at public and private schools starting on Monday.

President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday said that all flights from Europe and Colombia would be suspended for a month over coronavirus concerns during a live televised news conference on Thursday.

“Early today, two cases were certified,” Rodriguez said in a televised statement. “One 41-year-old citizen was travelling in the United States. The other was travelling in Spain.”

The two patients arrived on a flight from Spain and have been put in quarantine, she said.

Those using the Caracas metro system will only be allowed in if they are wearing face masks, Rodriguez said.

Maduro has said efforts to fight the coronavirus in Venezuela are being jeopardised by US sanctions, meant to force the ruling Socialist Party from power.

Years of recession, hyperinflation, and underinvestment in public services have left Venezuela in poor condition to confront any cases of the coronavirus that is spreading rapidly worldwide, healthcare workers say. Its hospitals suffer from chronic shortages of medicine and supplies, as well as frequent lapses in electricity and running water.

In a hospital in Venezuela’s western city of Maracaibo, chronic water shortages have left staff using paint buckets as toilets. With medical gloves in short supply, workers use the same pair on multiple patients.

Related Articles

Back to top button