Maduro announced today that there were four new cases of COVID-19 in the country. The total number of confirmed cases since the outbreak began now sits at 197.

During a televised address, Maduro said that face masks were “mandatory”, and called on everyone to do their part to combat the virus by cleaning their surroundings. He said:

There should be cleaning, disinfection and beautification through the Mision Venezuela Bella [a government urban maintenance initiative]. [We have to] make our homeland beautiful.

Maduro also said that the few number of cases in Venezuela meant that the country was “close to cutting off the transmission chains”.

However, the number of reported cases is not the same as the number of total cases, since not all cases are detected, and not everyone who has COVID-19 is aware of their infection. It is therefore certain that there are more cases of COVID-19 in Venezuela than the government reports each day, as is the case in every country in the world.

Carabobo Governors Orders Pharmacies, Supermarkets to Close at 2:00 PM

Carabobo state governor Rafael Lacava ordered that all pharmacies and supermarkets in the state close starting at 2:00 PM effective today in an attempt to get residents off the streets and into their homes.

Lacava said that he expected “everyone to go home” starting at 2:00 PM.

The move comes after videos surfaced online yesterday showing a crowd of hundreds of motorcyclists trying to get to a single gas station in Valencia state to pump gas, violating the government-mandated social distancing measures in place to combat the spread of COVID-19.

It is unclear if the measure will actually yield positive results, since drastically reduced working hours might force larger crowds to visit these establishments when they are open.

Unrest in Barinas State Over Lack of Gasoline

A large crowd of people gathered in the municipality of Socopo, Barinas state today in protest over the lack of gasoline in the city. The municipality is not the only one affected, as the entire country has been experiencing severe fuel shortages in recent weeks.

Below, some images from the unrest in Socopo today:

National Guard soldiers attempted to disperse a crowd of protesters with tear gas:

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