Speaking during a televised address this afternoon, Maduro announced that there were seven new cases of COVID-19 in the country, bringing the total number of cases since the outbreak was first reported on Friday to 17. As a result of the increase, Maduro decreed the quarantining of the cities of Caracas and La Guaira, as well as the states of Zulia, Miranda, Tachira, Apure, and Cojedes.

Maduro announced that the quarantined areas will see all businesses closed, except for service provides like police departments, as well as supermarkets and pharmacies.

In explaining the reasoning for the decision, Maduro said:

We’re taking the first step in areas where there is the highest incidence of virus importation, and in the areas where the quarantined cases that have arrived from Europe are located.

Maduro also explained that the purpose of the quarantine was to have those living in the affected areas “stay in [their] homes”.

Maduro also said:

We’re closely following the evolution of the coronavirus in the country. We’ve located several new cases. Yesterday, there were eight announced cases of people testing positive. Today, Sunday, we’ve detected seven more. These were all people who came from abroad. Four came from Europe, and one from Cucuta [Colombia] and the other from somewhere else in the world.

Maduro did not say in which state(s) the seven new cases were detected, or where specifically he meant when he said “somewhere else in the world”.

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