The deputy and presidential commissioner for health and health care for migrants, José Manuel Olivares, warned that the growth of the disease will soon exceed the daily testing capacity: “They have reached their maximum capacity and they are going to tell us that there is a flattening of the curve, but it will be artificial.”
In this sense, he denounced that in the country’s only two laboratories managed by the regime process tests that, in addition, maintain a 14-day delay in delivering results. Olivares said that in 24 weeks of quarantine, nothing has been done to prepare the country for the pandemic. He said that if the regime had invested in building capacity, at least 16 laboratories could have been set up and between 6,000 and 8,000 tests could have been performed daily, with a 48-hour turnaround time.
With regard to the number of deaths, the commissioner insisted that it is more than double that the one announced by Maduro and his spokesmen. At least 561 deaths have been reported by the interim government monitoring, a figure that does not reflect reality. The under-recording is above 60%, which means that out of every 10 deaths due to coronavirus, 6 are not included in the regime’s statistics.
“We are seeing an increase in general mortality and deaths are beginning to occur in Venezuelan homes, which is why the data is below the real figure, but it is higher and likely twice as high as what we can confirm,” he said.
Olivares explained that in one week, four Venezuelans from the Santa Lucía sector in Petare died from covid-19. The victims were taken to the Domingo Luciani hospital, but were admitted without vital signs. Something similar happened at the Luis Razetti hospital, the largest health center in Anzoátegui State: in 48 hours, 19 Venezuelans died infected by the virus.
The commissioner reiterated that Venezuela has the highest mortality rate of healthcare workers in the region. To date, 71 members of the healthcare area have died from covid-19. “Healthcare workers are 30 times more likely to be infected, 111 times more likely to die from the virus than anyone else in Venezuela, and we have not reached the worst phase of the pandemic… This is extremely high without having reached the peak.”
Olivares added that 65 percent of emergencies and 75 percent of intensive care units nationwide are occupied. The surgeon recalled that in Venezuela there are only 146 ventilators and 134 intensive care beds: “This leads to the rejection of patients in hospitals. They can’t be admitted … we are beginning to see hospitalizations in chairs and hallways of healthcare centers as a result of hospital collapse”.
The commissioner rejected the acquisition of 18,000 doses of Remdesivir by the regime as treatment for covid-19, because there is no evidence of significant improvement in infected patients. He denounced that, in addition, the medicine is only available to those in the military high command: “There are no protocols for access to Remdesivir in Venezuela.”
Olivares ended by calling on the National Armed Forces: “Everyone has to assume their responsibility. We are in time to save lives and provide solutions, but the only way to do it is with the formation of a National Emergency Government”.
— Centro de Comunicación Nacional (@Presidencia_VE) August 18, 2020