Following the global COVID-19 alert and the identification of 2 confirmed cases in Venezuela, President Maduro declared a state of emergency, which includes the closure of schools and universities. As of 15 March, flights from Europe, Colombia, Santo Domingo and Panama have been suspended for 30 days. On the same day, the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido announced that Ambassadors have been instructed to liaise with allied governments for the purchase of kits and medicines.
According to DG ECHO's medical partners, the country has insufficient capacities to respond the crisis (less than 500 diagnostic kits are available).
The population has a weak immune system due to lack of medication, suspension of regular vaccination and a high malnutrition rate. The public health system has almost collapsed (85% of hospitals’ laboratory considered non operational or deficient).
In the light of the above, on 13 March, the Government of Colombia declared the closure of all official border points with Venezuela, including the main facilities providing assistance to Venezuelans entering Colombia.