Vice president Delcy Rodriguez confirmed the first two cases of COVID-19 today during a press conference, while a third case was confirmed at approximately the same time through the media.. Rodriguez–who heads the Maduro regime’s task force against the virus–said that the two people who are confirmed to have the disease arrived in Venezuela from Europe aboard two Iberia flights on March 5 and 8, both from Madrid.
According to Rodriguez, one of the individuals is a 41-year-old woman with a recent travel history to the United States, Italy and Spain, while the other is a 52-year-old man who arrived in Venezuela directly from Spain.
The third case is that of a 49-year-old woman who also arrived in Venezuela on March 8, and who began to show symptoms of the disease on March 11. According to El Nacional, the woman works at a school in Caracas, but she did not return to work after coming back to the country from Europe on March 8. The name of the school where the person is employed is the Colegio Integral El Avila.
Carlos Cedeño, the head of the school, said:
[This person] was very responsible, and told us that they were suspected to have coronavirus. Even while we were waiting for the results from the epidemiological authorities, we decided to suspend activities at the school.
Rodriguez said that the two individuals are now in isolation. She said:
Isolation is mandatory. As you know, the spread [of the virus] happens very quickly.
Rodriguez also announced that effective Monday, March 16, all classes across all educational institutions would be suspended until further notice. She said:
The president has decided to suspend classes across the country starting on Monday, and they will be taught remotely. We ask that, as much as possible, you all stay in your homes (…) and that you wear surgical masks while riding the Caracas Metro.
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