For health workers on the front line of Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis, the coronavirus has added a terrible twist — a lack of masks has left them unprotected.
“Some workers are buying their own masks,” said Mauro Zambrano, a health worker and union leader in Caracas who has provided detailed information on the state of the city’s hospitals.
“You can get one for $1 which will last you a day or you can get a proper one for $7-$8. But — just imagine — we’re on salaries of $5-$6 a month — not enough to buy a single mask.”
Few countries are in a worse position to deal with Covid-19 than Venezuela. It was already reeling from US sanctions amid a worsening economic and social crisis, and has now been hit by lower oil prices which have slashed what is virtually its only legal source of revenue.