The Maduro government announced today that the total number of cases of COVID-19 in Venezuela reached 159, with four new cases detected over the last 24 hours. The announcement came from vice president Delcy Rodriguez, who heads the reigme’s COVID-19 response taskforce.

According to Rodriguez, three of the newest four cases are individuals in the 20s. She pointed out the age of the individuals to argue that the disease is not something that only elderly Venezuelans should worry about, and reiterated the government’s call for people to practice social distancing. To those who have been diagnosed with the disease and are now quarantined at home, Rodriguez said:

They should practice strict isolation [and] use masks at home. They should designate one person in the home to take care of the person, and avoid contact with other members of the home.

Rodriguez also revealed that of the country’s 159 cases, 34 are in intensive care, and 35 are in hospital, while 31 individuals are recovering at home.

Rodriguez also said that since the outbreak of the disease began in Venezuela, health authorities have conducted a total of 54,248 tests, a number that she says puts Venezuela “at the vanguard” of COVID-19 testing.

If true, the country’s testing rate is approximately 1,750 tests for ever million inhabitants. For comparison, the United Kingdom is administering approximately 2,586 tests per one million inhabitants, while India’s rate is approximately 50 per one million inhabitants.

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