Maduro Hails Russian COVID-19 Vaccine as Comms Minister Tests Positive

The South American nation has a 70 percent COVID-19 recovery rate.


Mérida, August 13, 2020 ( – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro complimented the Russian Federation for being the world’s pioneer nation in producing a COVID-19 vaccine.

“This represents a new landmark in the medical and science world,” he said in a communique, praising Russian efforts for “the world’s collective wellbeing.”

Concerning the country’s coronavirus situation, Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez reported on Friday that Venezuela has a total of 31,881 COVID-19 cases registered, 9,535 of them active while 22,346 have recovered. A total of 266 people have died.

The area with the most cases is the Capital District in the Northern part of the country.

Out of the currently active cases, 5,011 are being treated in public hospitals, 4,368 at Integral Diagnostic Centers (local healthcare centers of the Barrio Adentro Mission) and 176 at private clinics.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Venezuela has applied 1,618,708 tests for early coronavirus detection, 53,957 tests per million inhabitants.

Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez informed on Wednesday that he tested positive for the virus, stating that he is in good condition and following necessary healthcare recommendations. On Thursday, high profile Chavista Dario Vivas passed away having fought for a month against COVID-19. Vivas served as the ruling PSUV’s vice president for mobilization as well as the government’s head of the Capital District.

For his part, Venezuelan Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami recently reported he had recovered from the virus. High profile Chavista figure Diosdado Cabello likewise informed that he had a PCR test return negative.

As for Venezuelan citizens returning from other countries, Maduro recently informed that 76,665 migrants have returned since the pandemic broke out. Returning migrants are received at temporary refugee spots on the border by a logistic medical team while they comply with tests and the respective quarantine.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has initiated four research lines on SARS-COVID-19 through the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC), with an initial goal of increasing the testing capacity.

Venezuela has assigned 111 billion Bolivars (around 380 thousand dollars at the official exchange rate) for scientific research and innovation on COVID-19. Of the total, 78 percent has been destined to diagnosis and prevention projects of the disease.

Similarly, the National Observatory for Science Technology and Innovation opened a new registry initiative for scientists interested in participating in research to generate efficient solutions in tackling the pandemic. More than 285 men and women have signed up so far.

Edited by Ricardo Vaz from Mérida.