Venezuela: Abusive Treatment of Returnees
Poor Quarantine Conditions May Spread Covid-19
Tuesday 13 October 2020
(Washington, DC, October 13, 2020) – Venezuelan authorities’ treatment of approximately 100,000 citizens returning from other countries in many cases is abusive and is likely to amplify transmission of Covid-19, Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins University’s Centers for Public Health and Human Rights and for Humanitarian Health said today. Foreign affairs ministers from Latin American countries scheduled to meet online the week of October 19, 2020, as part of the Quito Process should urgently address the returnees’ situation.
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans, most of whom were living in other Latin American countries, are returning to Venezuela because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact. Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins centers found overcrowded and unsanitary quarantine centers for the people returning, with little access to food, water, or medical care. Some who protested the conditions were threatened with arrest. And due to Covid-19 testing delays and an unnecessarily elaborate testing protocol, many people have been quarantined for weeks longer than the 14 days the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends.