Venezuelan judicial authorities ordered the arrest of 81 people, including some adolescents, for breaching the quarantine by participating in parties in the capital amid the advance of the new coronavirus, which already exceeds 30,000 infections.
The detainees were apprehended in various celebrations for the alleged crime of resistance to authority and contempt of the quarantine that has been in force for five months, and the failure to comply with biosafety and social distancing measures, the Supreme Court of Justice said in a statement. that spread on social networks.
The arrests came just days after President Nicolás Maduro announced that new decisions would be made to “cut off” the spread of the virus in Caracas, which is the main focus of the country with more than 7,000 cases.
Maduro has argued that the advance of the coronavirus in the capital, where more than six million people live, is a consequence of the many parties that take place in the city.
“70% of infected people … have done so at parties, celebrations,” said the leftist ruler at the end of last month.
Opponents and analysts reject the president’s argument, claiming that the breach of the quarantine does not occur only at parties but also in the massive crowds that are observed daily in the popular sectors of Caracas where its inhabitants, overwhelmed by the economic crisis, do street sales to subsist or buy the few products that they can buy with their precarious income, increasingly insufficient due to hyperinflation.
The detention of people who breach the quarantine has been questioned by opponents and humanitarian organizations who have accused Maduro of increasing the repression in the South American nation.
Authorities announced a record 1,281 new cases in one day on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections to 30,369 and the death toll to 259.
The doubling of cases in the last three weeks has generated concern among specialists and opponents who have denounced that some of the hospitals that were designated to treat COVID-19 cases are collapsed.
Olivares said this week that 62% of emergency rooms and 61% of intensive care units are already occupied. Some of the main clinics in the capital have also reported that they have already occupied all of the beds made for coronavirus cases.
Venezuela faces the pandemic with a precarious health system due to the shortage of medicines, supplies and personnel and frequent failures in water and electricity services, which has made some international organizations and specialists anticipate that the new coronavirus could have serious consequences in the South American nation.