Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, announced the donation of medical equipment to Colombia, to stop COVID-19 from spreading in the South American nation and regionally. The declarations were part of Maduro’s meeting with the Council of State, held at the Miraflores Palace.
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Despite Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to move aside political differences, Colombian President Ivan Duque declined the donation. Duque does not refuse the equipment but affirms that his administration will only accept it if it comes via the Panamerican Health Organization.
"President Ivan Duque said on Radio Nacional de Colombia, that Nicolas Maduro's offer to donate two machines to detect the Coronavirus would have to be coordinated with the Pan American Health Organization"
Many users on social media have harshly criticized Duque’s decision, considering that the mandatary needs to leave inconveniences with his Venezuelan counterpart to guarantee sanitary crisis solutions.
The Bolivarian mandatary explained the only COVID-19 detection machine in Colombia is not functioning after breaking. Due to this circumstance, Venezuela will provide Colombia with two new machines to keep testing patients and clearing suspicious cases. The devices were formerly donated by China to Venezuela.
Colombia registered one of the highest number of COVID-19 cases in South America, with 906 positive cases and 16 victims so far. This situation could cause a sanitary crisis in the common border between Venezuela and Colombia. Maduro affirmed several times cooperation between both nations is paramount to stop the virus spreading.
The Chief of State also referred to dialogue with the Venezuelan political opposition as a way to comply with a conjunct work facing the sanitary special situation due to COVID-19. It is proposed that the venue for this meeting be the apostolic nunciature, in the city of Caracas, which is considered a neutral space.