Half of Venezuela's members of the ministerial cabinet are down with COVID-19, President Nicolás Maduro announced.
We have half the cabinet with coronavirus; everyone is sick, said Maduro, who said those infected were Executive Vice President Delcy Rodríguez; Minister of Productive Agriculture and Land, Wilmar Castro Soteldo; National Assembly Speaker Jorge Rodríguez; and Minister of Electric Energy, General Néstor Reverol.
Maduro also explained there was an increase in cases of a subvariant of Omicron. We have to be careful because the virus is still present, Maduro said in a TV message.
Although Venezuela has low levels of COVID-19 contagion, compared to the world, this week it registered 5 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants, he added.
Last Saturday, Delcy Rodriguez had announced that the Omicron BA.5 subvariant was circulating and called on citizens to get vaccinated or to take booster doses while observing biosecurity measures.
Venezuela has been doubling the number of daily infections, and according to official data up to Wednesday, the country accumulated 531,094 cases and 5,753 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Delcy Rodríguez also called for preventive measures to be upped in light of the increase in cases.
A total of 563 new cases were confirmed Thursday, all but one through community transmission, while the other had just arrived from abroad.
Rodríguez said the cases had been detected nationwide in different states: Miranda (187), Capital District (174), Zulia (61), Yaracuy (59), Sucre (22), Aragua (12), Falcón (9), Mérida (8), Táchira (7), Carabobo (6), Bolivar (3), La
Guaira (2), Monagas (2), Anzoátegui (2), Trujillo (2), Portuguesa (2), Guárico (2), Lara (1), Amazonas (1).
The imported case was one of a woman who had arrived from the Dominican Republic through La Guaira.
There were 3,850 active cases of COVID-19 nationwide, Rodríguez also said. Since the onset of the pandemic, Venezuela has recorded 531,657 confirmed cases, of which 522,054 have recovered (98%) and 5,753 deaths.