Spanish – Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves in the world, also became the only country where its doctors are forced to travel by bicycle to attend to the coronavirus pandemic and other diseases.
Ante la ausencia de gasolina en Venezuela, los médicos siguen haciendo su trabajo… y sea como sea llegan a los hospitales… como lo hace el Dr. J.C. Alvarez, en bicicleta pic.twitter.com/ZCmqBuTcko
— Sergio Novelli (@SergioNovelli) April 4, 2020
“Venezuela once had the largest oil reserves in the world. Today, in this COVID-19 emergency, there isn’t even any gasoline for vehicles. Doctors are given 20 liters as a contingency. The rest, they have to try to manage as much as we can,” said one doctor on social media while recording himself riding his bicycle.
Other Venezuelan doctors have expressed on social media how they have been forced to move around on bicycles due to fuel shortages.
Así es estamos “combatiendo” el #Covid_19 en #Venezuela ?! Atropellando a los médicos sólo porque graban con su teléfono o informan? …”Por que me maltratáis ? “ pregunta esta Doctora al militar que la detiene!! ??? https://t.co/z13VCvesb0
— Idania Chirinos (@IdaniaChirinos) March 31, 2020
On the other hand, some pharmacies in the country have been forced to close down because their workers have no means of transportation.
— Lorena Evelyn Arráiz (@lorearraiz) April 7, 2020
Health personnel without gasoline, without work
José Manuel Olivares, a deputy in the National Assembly, reported that due to the shortage of gasoline caused by the Nicolás Maduro regime, 62% of health personnel were unable to go to work.
Olivares added that 84% of the doctors in the country were unable to fill gasoline in their vehicles, and 66 % spent between eight and 20 hours in line to get gas.
The Nicolás Maduro regime is handling information about the coronavirus pandemic in Venezuela, and there is no trustworthy information about the number of cases. The country could be plunged in an absolute lie about the infection.
Olivares said that on March 29, Jorge Rodríguez reported that 37,000 PCR type tests and 50,000 rapid tests had been conducted. Earlier, on March 26, Delcy Rodríguez had reported that the total number of tests conducted was 1,836. “In other words, in three days, more than 80,000 tests disappeared,” he said.
Olivares pointed out that there is not only concern about the lack of beds and the entire structure of intensive care during this emergency, but also that 70% of health centers in the country do not have water, 60% do not have soap, and 66% do not have basic supplies such as gloves and masks for the protection of medical personnel.
Venezuela is in an information limbo about the pandemic and has a decadent healthcare system. Further, the country is facing a fuel shortage that impedes the transport of doctors, patients, and even emergency services such as ambulances.
In theory, only doctors, military, and food transporters have access to fuel. However, the healthcare workers themselves have denied this.
Impresionante el mal trato que recibimos los Médicos al momento de echar gasolina, ayer en tres Bombas que custodia el Ejército me dijeron "no hay preferencia a ningún médico" a pesar de presentar mis credenciales. Difícil nuestra situación y como ayudarte así?
— Dr. Asdrubal Alfonzo (@Dr_Asdrubal) March 29, 2020
Oil for Cuba, not for Venezuela
On March 30, it was revealed that amid the coronavirus pandemic, Nicolás Maduro’s regime is sending fuel tankers to Cuba.
According to journalist Casto Ocando, according to the PDVSA report, “the shipments of fuel sent by Maduro to Cuba during the Venezuelan mega-crisis reached the following ports: Cienfuegos, Havana, and Santiago de Cuba.”
Venezuelans claim that the National Guard is selling fuel at 2 USD per liter, which translates into up to 100 USD to fill a tank of a medium-size vehicle. Meanwhile, the monthly minimum wage in the country isn’t more than 10 USD.
Maduro’s regime is in charge of the distribution and production of gasoline. Chavismo manages refineries and exports. So only the dictatorship is responsible for what happens to the fuel and its severe scarcity.