Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez announced today that there were 28 new cases of COVID-19 in Venezuela, bringing the total reported in the country since the outbreak there began last week to 70. During a press conference, Rodriguez said that 15 patients had recovered.
During the press conference, Rodriguez said that all 28 new cases of the virus were “imported”, and maintained that so far all 70 cases detected in the country have been individuals who became infected with the disease while abroad.
Rodriguez drew ire from Venezuelans on social media, who pointed out that his statement regarding the “imported” nature of the outbreak directly contradict statements he made on March 14. That day, Rodriguez said that two of the infections were due to local transmission.
During his press conference today, Rodriguez also said:
The corona virus is not a game . It’s not a joke. It’s not just a cold. It’s a pandemic that threatens humanity.
Rodriguez also said that two patients are currently in critical condition, and that they are receiving treatment in hospitals in Caracas.
The minister also warned Venezuelans to continue to abide by the quarantine order:
The social quarantine has to be respected. Don’t go out onto the street thinking that you have an excuse to give to the authorities [if asked]. Go out only if its urgent.
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