Venezuela participated on Monday in the 73rd World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO), held virtually from Geneva, Switzerland, to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The WHA is attended by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and representatives from more then 190 countries.
The Assembly focuses speeches on how to defeat the pandemic and how to rebuild stronger health systems around the world, a point to which Venezuela contributed during the participation of Health Minister Carlos Alvarado, accompanied by Vice-minister of Multilateral Affairs of Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry Alexander Yánez.
Alvarado highlighted that Venezuela has managed to keep the curve flattened, with a 17% morbidity rate, a 0.3% fatality rate and a 45% recovery rate. 98% of all cases in Venezuela have been asymptomatic featuring mild clinical conditions.
“In the last week, we have registered an increase in cases. Nearly 80% of them come from countries such as Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Peru, from where Venezuelans are returning to seek healthcare and social protection,” said Alvarado.
The Venezuela health minister stressed that Venezuela has maintained preventive measures and social distancing to control COVID-19, as well as a massive deployment for testing and disinfection operations.
Alvarado explained in detail the actions taken by President Nicolás Maduro to prevent and contain COVID-19 like social distancing, use of facemasks, massive and personalized testing, free access to diagnosis tests and treatment, and increase of hospital and ICU capacity in agreement with the private sector.
“We have taken these actions while we are facing big economic obstacles as a result of the unilateral coercive actions imposed by the U.S. against Venezuela that prevent us from accessing food and medicine,” complained Alvarado in his speech.
In this regard, he underscored that the integration of all countries is important to face the pandemic by joining efforts and putting aside political differences.
Human Life as a Priority
The 73rd World Health Assembly is focusing speeches on the COVID-19 significance in the world’s recent history and how humankind is changing due to the pandemic.
“According to figures by WHO Director-General, serological studies reflect a relatively low percentage of the population, 20% at best, has antibodies, but in most countries where these studies have been conducted, immunity is lower than 10%; therefore, we cannot let our guard down,” said Alvarado.
The Venezuelan health minister joined the WHO call for giving precedence to health and life over economic issues.
Finally, he thanked for the humanitarian aid and solidarity of the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nation System and other organizations and countries such as China, Russia, Iran and Cuba in the fight against coronavirus.
“We congratulate Dr. Tedros Adhanom, WHO director-general, for his extraordinary leadership in the Organization during the pandemic, as well as President of China Xi Jinping for effectively handling the pandemic in his country,” he pointed out.