As of this Monday, the 7+7 Plus reopening scheme has been activated in the Venezuelan battle against COVID-19, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced on Sunday. The head of state explained that this plan will be extended until December to “improve treatments and maximum care, break the contagion chain” and start the clinical trials of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, with a view to starting the process of mass vaccination.
He indicated that the 7+7 Plus method in our country will last until the end the year “in full unity and conscious discipline.” In this sense, he pointed out that the slogan “Stay at home” will be changed to “In Venezuela we’ve decided to take care of ourselves.”
For this reason, he requested the widest information campaign of this new phase by the media, digital media and social networks.
He stressed that in this new phase the government will make efforts to improve treatments, in order to bring the number of deaths from the disease to zero, as well as to break the chain of contagion. He said that the people will be able to celebrate on December 24 and 31 under special measures. “We will celebrate a happy and safe Christmas as a family,” he said.
203 days of fight against Covid-19
In a VTV (state media) broadcast, he took stock of the fight against the pandemic in our country. He indicated that 7+7 Plus represents the fifth stage.
- First stage: prevention. Before the declaration of the coronavirus as a pandemic and the arrival of the virus in Venezuela, on February 28 the Presidential Commission for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 was formed. On March 11, the pandemic was declared and on March 13, the first two people with coronavirus from Spain were registered. Hours later, the state of emergency was declared in the country and the Venezuelan government became the first on the continent to apply an immediate protocol.
- Second stage: Radical quarantine. stimulus checks using the Patria system, worker subsidies, payment of wages for SMEs, and surveys in the Patria system, expansion of the government-subsidized CLAP food program to 7 million households, freezing of rents and of credit interest payments were some of the decisions announced by the national government to combat the situation from a social and economic perspective. 14,000 medical brigades went out to perform house-to-house screenings. An awareness campaign was launched, mandatory use of masks, the control of border crossings and closure of international airports, employment protection, and distance training were implemented. The Plan Vuelta a la Patria (“Return to the Homeland”) was reactivated to receive Venezuelans fleeing the pandemic from other South American nations that did not implement protocols in a responsible way. In this phase, contagions were controlled for three months.
- Third stage: sanitary control on border check points: In June, the curve was flattened, but in the middle of that month, compatriots began to arrive by illegal means from Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Ecuador, increasing the number of positive cases. President Maduro recalled that on that occasion he denounced the Colombian government’s plan to “massively infect Venezuela.” The Poliedro de Caracas was converted into a field hospital and the quarantine flexibilization days began. More than 117,000 Venezuelans have entered the country since then by legal means and respecting sanitary protocols, and they have received free health care, lodging and transportation. But the government estimates that 60,000 Venezuelans entered the country illegally, and out of them 10,000 were infected with the virus, without having gone through the sanitary steps.
- Fourth stage : Combination of quarantine with relaxation of regulations. The 7+7 method for easing the quarantine was applied. After 10 weeks of radical quarantine, the reactivation of the productive apparatus in Venezuela began through the application of a mechanism that combines the need to prevent infections with the importance of reactivating the national economy.
- Fifth stage: 7 + 7 Plus. In this regard, the president said that a provision of supplies would be made for medical centers, and adaptations for the care of virus patients would be implemented.
The head of state announced that through the Plan Vuelta a la Patria, flights were activated from the Dominican Republic, Panama, Mexico, Spain and Italy in recent days to resume the repatriation by air of Venezuelans stranded abroad.
Featured image: Photo courtesy of Prensa Presidencial