HAVANA TIMES – Venezuela on Monday took new steps to relax its lockdown despite rising coronavirus infection figures, reported dpa news.
The government’s three-level plan includes a strict quarantine in areas with high numbers of coronavirus infections, a middle-level opening in states with fewer cases and a “general flexibilization” in states with relatively few cases.
The plan will initially be in force from July 13 to 19.
Regions under radical quarantine, such as Zulia state and some frontier municipalities, are to allow only essential economic sectors to function, the government said at the weekend.
In 12 states and the capital district, 10 additional sectors may operate, ranging from construction and ironmongers to dentists and hairdressing salons.
In 10 states the plan adds 14 more sectors, ranging from opticians and laundries to gyms and some shopping centres, while banks are to function normally.
The government had already started to relax the lockdown at the beginning of June.
Lines formed at some Caracas bus stations, with people who were travelling to work not observing social distancing, daily El Nacional reported.
President Nicolas Maduro’s government reported 287 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing the total to 9,465.
The real figures are widely believed to be much higher. There is concern that the country’s crumbling health system will not be able to handle large numbers of Covid-19 patients.
Several states already have no capacity to treat more people and the same situation is threatening to occur in Caracas, lawmaker and doctor Jose Manuel Olivares tweeted.