World, Americas

Brazil adopts restrictive measures on Venezuela border

Brazilian leader says restrictive measures due to inability of Venezuelan government to fight coronavirus pandemic

Vakkas Dogantekin   | 18.03.2020
Brazil adopts restrictive measures on Venezuela border


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Wednesday announced restrictive measures along his country's border with Venezuela for 15 days, citing the "inability" of the Maduro government in containing the coronavirus.

"Considering the inability of the Venezuelan dictatorial regime to respond to the Covid-19 epidemic, the Brazilian government will adopt restrictive measures on the border with Venezuela, in order to guarantee the safety and health of our people, especially in the northern region of the country," Bolsonaro said on Twitter.

Bolsonaro government does not recognize Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate leader of the South American nation and backs self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido like many other Western states.

"The restrictive measures comply with the WHO [World Health Organization] emergency declaration and recommendations of the National Health Surveillance Agency [Anvisa], with a term of 15 days, which can be extended according to Anvisa's technical recommendation. Essential services like cargo transportation are maintained," he added.

Bolsonaro on Sunday told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that economy comes first and overdoing the coronavirus measures is "hysteria".

Brazil confirmed its first coronavirus-related death on Tuesday, when a 62-year-old man who tested positive for the virus died on Monday, four days after being admitted to a hospital in Sao Paulo. 

After announcing its first case on Feb. 26, the total number of the infected has risen to 291 in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Venezuela has about 40 reported cases so far.

Worldwide, out of over 203,500 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 8,200, while more than 82,500 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a statistics website that compiles new case numbers.

The number of active cases is more than 112,500 -- 94% mild and 6% in critical condition, according to the website.

The WHO has declared Europe the new epicenter of the virus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China last December.

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