By Carlos Camacho
CARACAS -- Nicolas Maduro vaunt immunology after stating getting vaccinated on Sunday night, but reiterated he was not going to allow vaccines to be secured in Venezuela through a deal with the World Health Organization and National Assembly President Juan Guaido.
Maduro has allowed some 650,000 doses of Russian Sputnik V and Chinese Sinopharm vaccines but only reported to the WHO as giving 98,000 doses, without detailing how many doses each patient was given.
Guaido had announced a deal with the WHO’s COVAX to obtain 12 million doses for six million Venezuelan. The regime acquiesced at first, but later backtracked, criticizing Guaido for supposedly being instrumental in getting Maduro and other regime figures sanctioned.
They stated that accepting the COVAX vaccines amounted to “begging” and “panhandling” and stating Guaido was putting Venezuelans lives at risk by securing, according to the regime, the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine.
Maduro also admitted that he was expecting an increase in cases “over the next few weeks,” announcing the unprecedented step of extending the “radical quarantine” for another week, for a total of 21 days.
Venezuelans can’t drive between municipalities or at night, airports remain closed, as are most businesses except those deemed essential: clinics, gas stations, supermarkets and some restaurants.
A few hours after Maduro spoke, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez reported 1,786 new contagions that day for a total of 166,123 cases.
Since March ended, almost each new daily total has represented a new record, with March cases nearly doubling the total recorded in February. There were 21,381 new cases in March, compared to February’s 12,189.
The crisis-stricken country records 1,662 deaths from COVID-19, including 15 on Sunday alone, although both the opposition and international organizations have accused Maduro of offering false tallies for total cases and deaths.