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Maduro announced this evening that Venezuela had broken a troubling record after he confirmed that there had been 419 new cases of COVID-19 in the country since yesterday. The number is the highest official single-day increase in Venezuela since the outbreak was first detected in March, and brings the total number of cases in the country to 7,169.

The number of deaths from the virus increased by two, and now sits at 64.

In a rare move, Maduro conceded that the overwhelming majority of the new cases–332–were the result of community spread. In their daily updates, government officials have taken to stressing that a majority of cases are “imported”, meaning that they were brought into the country by travelers.

At the same time, Maduro borrowed a page out of the playbook of US President Donald Trump by politicizing the origin of the virus and blaming his political rivals for its arrival in Venezuela. Maduro said:

I congratulate the people of Venezuela because we’ve overcome every difficulty, including the Colombian virus that [Colombian President Ivan Duque] sent us.

There is no evidence whatsoever that the Colombian government is responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak in Venezuela. The virus, which spreads relatively easily, has been detected in virtually every country on the planet.

Maduro also reminded Venezuelans that they are expected to be under strict quarantine for the following seven days as per government guidelines.


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