As of March 16, 2020, what started as an epidemic in the city of Wuhan, China, is currently a global pandemic with more than 170.000 total infected in 158 territories and almost 7.000 deaths.
The big question shifted from what country will get it next, to how are countries going to respond?
Aside from hospitals around the world not being able to treat so many cases being the main issue, in countries such as Venezuela which has a collapsing healthcare system over the years, the pandemic can cause a vast and unpredictable damage to the overall population.
Understanding that emergency funds have been displaced by organizations such as the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) or the World Bank, as a response to affected and most important, vulnerable countries, Venezuela is once again in a delicate position because of the lack of overall governmental transparency accompanied with a decadent political situation.
Aside from the lack of will by part of the Maduro Regime to receive international aid, which has already happened, the most preoccupying aspect of the situation is the healthcare infrastructure of the country. In general terms, most of the hospitals in the country have closed or have vastly decreased in capacity. Added to electricity and water shortages, if the Covid-19 spreads in Venezuela, there are high probabilities that there will be a health catastrophe.
Epidemiological reports have not been produced by the regime since 2016, in which the health ministryreported preoccupying data of infant and maternal mortality rates increasing 30% and 60%. Once again, lack of transparency demonstrates the lack of political will the regime has towards its citizens.
Currently, the health ministry has provided general information of how to act towards the Covid-19 and the regime has closed or restricted international and domestic mobility.
The Human Rights Institute for peace and freedom recommends the government of Venezuela to receive international aid in the form of human resources or health material. The outgoing situation goes beyond any political, economic or social agenda. The lives of thousands if not of millions of Venezuelans are at risk.