In his statement on Tuesday, May 25, at the 74th World Health Assembly, themed «Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, fairer world, » Minister of People’s Power for Health Carlos Alvarado reiterated the demand for the end of the financial blockade and unilateral coercive measures imposed by the US Government and its allied countries against Venezuela.
Alvarado stressed that these illegal, criminal measures hinder access to supplies and vaccines to fight COVID-19, violating the right to health of the Venezuelan people.
In this regard, he thanked the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies of the United Nations System for their cooperation and solidarity, as well as Cuba, Russia, China, Iran and Turkey, among others, for their contribution to reduce the negative impact of the blockade on the Venezuelan population.
The Venezuelan health minister pointed out that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela supports the mechanisms to speed up the equitable distribution of vaccines promoted by the WHO and other initiatives to release patents to enable the reduction of costs and ensure universal access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Minister Alvarado gave an update of Venezuela’s COVID-19 situation, telling that the South American country is experiencing a second wave.
Alvarado explained that the first wave took place between July and September 2020 and coincided with the massive return of Venezuelans from neighboring countries who were seeking medical care and social security, and the second wave started in March 2021 after Brazilian COVID-19 more contagious and lethal variants were reported.
«The Venezuelan epidemic curve currently shows a high peak with around 1,000 cases per day, but it is starting to drop, » said Alvarado, who also explained that the country’s strategy to fight the pandemic is based on a sustained effort to expand free, universal access to comprehensive health care, finding cases house by house, the comprehensive protection of all cases through institutions, the use of facemasks and the 7×7 quarantine system (7 days of rigorous quarantine followed by 7 days of quarantine flexibility).
In his virtual statement, the Venezuelan health minister conveyed President Nicolás Maduro’s regards, recognized the coordination work of the WHO and its Director-General during the global sanitary crises, and reaffirmed Venezuela’s solidarity with the Palestinian people, who are the victims of an aggression amid the pandemic, and with the Colombian people, who have been subjected to violent repression.
The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO and is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland. This year it will take place virtually from May 24 to June 1 2021, to discuss the global COVID-19 pandemic and preparedness to deal with future pandemics.