The Pan American Health Organization reported on Thursday that the Nicolas Maduro regime has only used 1% of the 340,000 antigen tests for Coronavirus that it received from PAHO in October of last year.
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This is the second time that an international organization accuses Maduro of lying about the tests or not performing them outright. In mid-2020, the United Nations also accused Maduro of falsifying the figure for the number of Coronavirus tests given; while the regime reported almost 700,000 by mid-May, the UN only found evidence of 16,500 actual tests being administered or only 2.3% of the figure reported by the embattled strongman.
In September, Maduro boasted to the General Assembly of the United Nations that his regime had given “1.9 million free COVID-19 tests, or nearly 62,500 per million inhabitants” making Venezuela “the country with the most tests in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
PAHO brokered a deal between the Maduro regime and the interim government of Juan Guaido where the latter gave the former $27 million from assets it had secured abroad. The agreement is not working, PAHO reported, which also restricts the access to vaccines against the Coronavirus in the Caribbean.
A report by the Bloomberg news agency published on January 21, reiterates the situation. Using unnamed sources to report that “the terms of the agreement between the Maduro and Guaido administrations to use offshore funds frozen by US sanctions to purchase antigen tests and distribute them to hospitals were not met, according to people familiar with the deal.”
According to the Bloomberg report, the Maduro government took full control of the tests that arrived in Venezuela at the end of October and has barely distributed them, which represents a breach of both the agreement with the opposition and PAHO guidelines, people familiar with the measure told the agency.
The Bloomberg report details that only about 485,000 PCR tests had been performed since the first coronavirus case was reported in March, according to a Health Ministry document accessed by the agency. Not the 1.9 million tests Maduro claims.
“That is a rate of only 17 tests per 1,000 people, one of the lowest testing rates reported in South America. Bolivia, also low on the list, has performed 37 tests per 1,000,” Bloomberg stated.