Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has accused his Colombian counterpart, Iván Duque, of intentionally infecting Venezuelans returning home from Colombia with coronavirus, EFE agency reported, citing the official’s comments during a cabinet meeting in Caracas on Wednesday.
“Two weeks ago, I denounced the order given by Ivan Duque. [There was] a very ill-fated meeting that ordered to do everything that could be done to infect Venezuela,” Maduro said as quoted by EFE.
According to the president, 66 cases of coronavirus out of 75 registered on Wednesday, were “imported” from Colombia, as “informal steps” were taken by “organised gangs” to infect the country’s citizens with COVID-19. Maduro, noting that the situation is still under assessment, suggested that Venezuelans could have been infected on the buses used to transfer them to the border area between two countries, as they were allegedly healthy when leaving Bogota and only in contact with their relatives.
“It is hard [...] but it is harder for them to pollute the country, for them to enter and pollute all of Venezuela, as Iván Duque wishes [...] all these things that I say is because I have the evidence in hand,” the president reportedly said.
Venezuelan authorities say that out of all the registered cases, 44% were reported over the last five days. Maduro specified that all of the newly infected people travelling from Colombia, which has registered 17,687 cases so far, will remain at the land border until they are corona-free.