Mario Villarroel, the President of the Venezuelan Red Cross, said Thursday afternoon that Venezuela is not ready to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, lacking both in medicine and material to fight the incurable virus only hours before the World Health Organization declared it a global health emergency.
Villarroel said the only action available in Venezuela is to work towards the prevention of Coronavirus. Venezuela is in a humanitarian crisis and hospitals lack everything from antibiotics to emergency generators.
“Our call is to prevent the Coronavirus. We are not prepared to fully fight this disease. It is something that the Health Ministry (controlled by the Nicolas Maduro regime) needs to get ready. We do not have the medicines yet or the right treatment neither. However, we keep open the possibility to work with the Health Ministry to help and collaborate according to our capacity,” Villarroel said.
A large Coronavirus outbreak began in China last week with 170 fatalities so far and 7,000 cases in the Asian country. Hours after Villarroel spoke with the press, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus a “global health emergency.”
WHO stated that its biggest fear is that the virus spreads to countries with weakened public-health systems since that would implicate a rapid propagation of the virus.
Besides China, Thailand, Japan, Singapur, the United States, Australia, France, and Germany have all reported cases of the virus. So far, only China has suffered fatalities because of it. Symptoms are similar to those of the common cold and include fever, fatigue, dry coughing and difficulty to breath.