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14 May 2020 | 08:52 PM UTC

Venezuela: Authorities announce heightened security measures amid COVID-19 pandemic May 13 /update 5

Venezuela News Alert

Venezuelan president announces heightened security measures on May 13 amid the COVID-19 pandemic; further spread of the virus is expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/13/2020, 10:30 PM until 6/1/2020, 12:29 AM (America/Caracas). COUNTRY/REGION Northern Venezuela

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on Wednesday, May 13, that heightened security measures will be implemented in the country's border areas due to a spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in those regions. Maduro further called upon governors, the armed forces, and citizens to strengthen the health security along the borders. Details regarding the heightened security measures have yet to be released as of Thursday, May 14. Additionally, on Tuesday, May 12, Maduro announced a 30-day extension to the current state of alarm in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The economic state of emergency (SoE) that was first introduced in January 2016 has been extended for 60 days from May 4. On May 9, the US Embassy in Bogotá advised US citizens to be prepared for "an indefinite stay in Venezuela" if they are not able to leave the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Thursday, May 14, health authorities have confirmed 440 COVID-19 cases and ten associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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