World, Americas

First 2 coronavirus cases confirmed in Venezuela

'All the health containment protocols recommended by the WHO have been activated,' says Venezuelan leader

Laura Gamba   | 13.03.2020
First 2 coronavirus cases confirmed in Venezuela

BOGOTA, Colombia

Venezuelan Vice President said on Friday morning that two people in Venezuela tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first cases in the South American country to be confirmed.

Delcy Rodriguez said in a press conference that the patients are two Venezuelan citizens who came from an Iberia flight 6673 on March 5 and 8. 

She asked other passengers who were on that flight to put themselves under preventive quarantine.

Rodriguez also announced the suspension of school classes starting on Monday.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela and health authorities are working to handle the pandemic.

"With the confirmation of 2 cases of COVID-19 in the country, all the health containment protocols recommended by the WHO have been activated," he wrote on Twitter. 

"We are taking all the necessary measures to prevent and protect the people of Venezuela from the threat of the Coronavirus," Maduro tweeted. "We have to prepare ourselves with serenity, safety, with the cooperation, solidarity and unity of Venezuelan people. Together we get through this!"

Also, the president ordered the ministers and senior officials to work to disseminate, implement and monitor the preventive measures instructed by the Prevention Presidential Commission in coordination with the world's health authorities.

Health workers in Venezuela have expressed their concern about the Venezuelan health system being unprepared to detect or contain the virus.

Neighboring countries Colombia and Brazil have already confirmed various cases of the virus.

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