Venezuela’s mistreatment of returnees may be intensifying COVID-19 spread

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Latin America Reports

A recent report from the Organization of American States detailed one case in which a Venezuelan family coming back from Colombia was forcefully quarantined for 46 days. They eventually went on a hunger strike to try to persuade authorities to send them back to their native cities.

“Sending returnees to overcrowded and unsanitary quarantine centers, where social distancing is impossible, is a recipe for spreading Covid-19,” said Dr. Kathleen Page, a physician at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Requiring them to stay there longer than the standard 14 days only increases the risk they will become infected, serving no reasonable public health purpose.”

Those returning to the country have also been stigmatized by people who accuse them of spreading the virus. Even President Nicolás Maduro called them “bio-terrorists.”