The president of the Caracas College of Nurses, Ana Rosario Contreras, on Wednesday blamed Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship for the crisis facing the health sector due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contreras said that given the lack of tests, supplies and equipment needed to effectively and efficiently treat infected patients, cases and deaths have risen, including an alarming number of health sector employees.
“Health care personnel are at high risk. Currently we are not tested for PCR, we are not provided with masks, we are not given the necessary supplies and equipment to deal with the pandemic. There are hospitals where they force staff to share gowns and use disposable masks for long days,” she said.
“Practicing nursing in Venezuela is suicide. More than 60% of Venezuelan hospitals do not have water, that is unacceptable, under those circumstances we carry out our activities, we are soldiers against an invisible enemy without the necessary equipment,” she said.
The union leader also deeply regretted that medical personnel continue to die because of these circumstances, citing unofficially that at least seven nurses have died.
“Seven nurses have died, the health union has lost 38 health professionals. We are the first country in Latin America with these figures,” she added.
For that reason, Contreras demanded that Maduro’s regime comply with the guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO), fulfilling the corresponding protocols and providing training in health material and equipment to the country’s hospitals.
“We need the population, civil society and the WHO to support us. Today not only do we have no way of feeding our families. We are now at risk. To the managers who are in the hospitals, this is not the time to put away the equipment, it is the time to address this situation,” she said.
Regarding the management of the dead, she said that the vast majority of the country’s morgues are not functioning. “In Venezuela a dead body can last more than 48 hours in a hospital.”
“Today we should not be worried about these issues, unfortunately we are dealing with circumstances that should be solved by the nefarious government,” she concluded.