Covid-19 Update: Venezuela

As of 27th March 2020

We have been in quarantine now for ten days. Since the first two clinically diagnosed cases this past March 14th, the Venezuelan government has applied drastic measures for protection that adhere to the successful models known and applied in China and other Asian countries, and also endorsed by the World Health Organization: the closure of airports, the obligatory use of facemasks by the whole population, and the constant campaign about the importance of personal hygiene and cleanliness of the home and of common and public spaces. There is a constant campaign about the importance of hygiene to combat the virus.

But beyond importing these measures, Venezuela, through all channels of communication, is enabling the flow of information and encouraging calm and hope throughout the country:

  1. The president gives a report on our situation every day with numbers of cases, containment measures, and the distribution of supplies for testing.
  2. The system of popular and collective protection that we have had for several years makes us follow with discipline the instructions and information that the Government reports.
  3. The uploading of a digital survey where people can report screening tests or report suspected COVID-19 cases in families. More than 12 million surveys have been sent out. We believe that this is a good sign of participation and citizen co-responsibility.
  4. Medical visits are made to places of greatest vulnerability.
  5. Lastly, they have begun a motivational campaign about this being a collective health issue and not a probem of public health. This perspective allows us isolate and care for ourselves with hope, and not with fear.
Up until now, 106 cases have been reported, the majority of which are here in the Capital District—23 cases—where we are, Mati and Jacquelin. There is one case in the state of Mongas, where the community of Jusepin is located. There have been no cases in Cumaná, El Peñon, where we have the largest community in the province. Three of those who are sick have already completely recovered and officially, we have had no deaths. Thanks to China, the government has the medicine and supplies needed to treat and screen those who come to the Diagnostic Centres set up for this purpose. This is a great effort because in regular times our hospitals lack so many supplies because of the boycott.

We are alright. We feel that, in general, people are taking care of themselves with care and trust. Although there are not many stores operating, we have the possibility of going to markets and having enough supply of food.

We trust that the measures taken have helped break the chain of the contagion. At the same time, we remain attentive and informed. We recognize how we are enriched and saved by "la mirada circular - mirada alrededor" (literally, gazing within the circle and gazing outside to what is around us), by collective sensibility and measures of COEXISTENCE IN SOLIDARITY among the people. We trust in the God of LIFE, and the strength of solidarity with one another shown by staying at home and protecting the most vulnerable population and the people who are impoverished and excluded.

Jacquelin, in the name of the sisters of Venezuela