COVID-19: Venezuela envoy tasks govts on border management to curb spike

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AMBASSADOR of Venezuela to Nigeria, David Caraballo has advised governments to strengthen their border patrols to prevent illegal entry into their countries without undergoing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) test and protocols.

Caraballo, who made this known in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, said it would curb spread of the virus.

He attributed 80 per cent of the COVID-19 spike in Venezuela to illegal entry to the country.

The Ambassador made the call as most countries have started making moves to reopen their borders and economies.

According to him, some people will smuggle themselves into countries to avoid going through the necessary COVID-19 preventive protocols of testing, 14 days quarantine and self isolation.

Caraballo said that Venezuela has effectively managed the pandemic with strong health institution: conducting free testing and treatment, using technology to manage cases and collect data.

He added that Venezuela was able to contain the virus from spreading exponentially and the figure increased when over 60,000 citizens returned home and some failed to adhere to the rules.

“More than 80 per cent of the cases were imported from people who came in from Colombia, Brazil, from other countries and not community infections.

“We have tightened the borders to prevent the entering of the disease and this action is very important.

“Now, we have a little problem in some specific areas because some persons will use irregular routes into the country to avoid isolation, quarantine and then go further to spread the disease to communities.

“We are working to solve this problem, though it is not easy because we share a very long border with Colombia and Brazil.

“We are working with China, Russia, Iran, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and different institutions to boost our capacity to attend to the situation.

“Cuba is a strong solidarity and with the medical team they have sent to other part of the world even to address the Ebola situation,” the envoy said.

Caraballo said that individual taking responsibility was, however, the key to ending the pandemic when they comply to hand washing, wearing face masks, social distancing and isolation when necessary.

“If the people have the responsibility and the government have the capacity, we work together with WHO, we can share experiences and compare action.

“We established total lockdown when we had just 11 cases. It was a call by President Nicolas Maduro for the people to have the initiative to respect the lockdown.

“We had 70 days with less than 1,000 cases when people came in, more than 60,000 and did not comply, unfortunately some people did not respect the quarantine and that increased the cases,” he said.

The envoy said that until the cure or vaccine to COVID-19 becomes successful, everyone should protect themselves and obey the preventive protocols as the new normal.

He noted that the Venezuelan government would support China and other allies who are moving to develop  vaccine and cure for the Coronavirus.

He also commended the WHO for its leading efforts in tackling the pandemic.

NAN

– July 01, 2020 @ 16:05 GMT

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