Venezuela to use hotel rooms to isolate mild cases of coronavirus: minister

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CARACAS, Mar 21 (Reuters) – The Venezuelan government is preparing to use hotel rooms to isolate coronavirus-infected patients who do not require hospitalization, the communication minister said Saturday, in an effort not to “overload” the health network.

Minister Jorge Rodríguez announced that the country, which entered forty during the week, registers 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19, two of them in critical conditions and hospitalized in private clinics.

“We have guaranteed spaces through hotels, with which we already communicate (…) in case a patient, a person, requires isolation but does not have enough symptoms to go to a hospitalization (…) in hotel beds, of course, duly protected by medical personnel, nursing personnel, “Rodríguez said.

The minister added that the government spoke with the hotel union, without specifying the number of private establishments and states in the country where they will occupy the rooms, despite assuring that the public network has enough hospital beds for delicate patients.

The coronavirus quarantine, which began on Monday in the capital Caracas and six other regions, was extended nationally on Tuesday, seeking to contain infections with restrictions on mobilization, amid the already precarious situation of the OPEC nation.

Of the total infected, Rodríguez said that there are 15 recovered patients, who have not presented symptoms in the last five days.

The Venezuelan Medical Federation warned that none of the 46 hospitals, of the network of 301 national centers, designated by the government as references for treating suspected cases, are in a position to care for patients due to failures of services, equipment and medicines.

(Report by Deisy Buitrago)

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