Venezuela calls Covid-19 patients “bioterrorists”

Venezuela calls Covid-19 patients “bioterrorists”
Image: Novikov Aleksey/Shutterstock

Nicolás Maduro, the authoritarian president of Venezuela, has used brute force as a way to tackle the pandemic. He ordered people to denounce those who caught the coronavirus, labeled by his administration as “bioterrorists.” 

Caracas has imposed quarantines by considering patients as enemies of the state — accusing them of crossing borders and deliberately spreading the coronavirus. When caught, Venezuelans who return to the country from abroad — often after losing their jobs — are confined in prison-like facilities, reportedly without basic necessities, such as food and water.

Venezuela: shady coronavirus numbers 

Though Mr. Maduro established a national lockdown on March 17 and has been using national emergency decrees when new Covid-19 peaks happen, data about the pandemic is not reliable in Venezuela, as The Brazilian Report showed in June. 

The government has been accused of doctoring health and socioeconomic numbers — such as infant mortality rate and even migration figures, estimated by the United Nations at over 4 million people. The country’s official numbers say there are 303 Covid-19 deaths and 36,868 confirmed cases, which would make Venezuela one of the countries with the lowest amount of infections in Latin America.