Venezuela: Urgent Aid Needed to Combat Covid-19
(Washington, DC) – The Venezuelan healthcare system is grossly unprepared for the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, further jeopardizing the health of Venezuelans and threatening to contribute to regional spread of the disease, Human Rights Watch, and the Johns Hopkins University’s Centers for Public Health and Human Rights and for Humanitarian Health said today. Ensuring that sufficient humanitarian aid reaches the Venezuelan people is urgently needed.
As of May 25, 2020, Venezuela had 1,121 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths. The real number is almost certainly much higher, given the limited availability of reliable testing, limited transparency, and the persecution of medical professionals and journalists who report on this issue. Overcrowding in low-income areas and prisons, as well as generalized limited access to water in hospitals and homes, makes it likely that the new coronavirus will rapidly spread within the country. The massive exodus of Venezuelans, and the migration back and forth across Venezuela’s borders due to the pandemic, increases the risk of the virus spreading further.
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