WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 19-year-old woman died due to lack of medical care because doctors cannot treat her due to the blackout crisis in Venezuela.
- The teenager is among the many other patients who died because most of the country’s facilities have shut down due to the power outage.
- So far, the current crisis has driven millions of Venezuelans from the country onto other South American neighboring countries.
Due to the power outage that left Venezuela without electricity for four days, doctors in the country’s hospitals were forced to deny medical attention to a 19-year-old severely malnourished woman who weighed only 22 pounds. Shunned from one hospital to another, the girl’s condition worsened and eventually died in her mother’s arms.
Elizabeth Diaz said her daughter who had cerebral paralysis and chronic malnourishment was convulsing repeatedly while she carried her and brought her to several hospitals.
Heartbroken, Diaz left her daughter’s almost skeletal body at a local morgue because she cannot afford to pay for a suitable burial service.
Images of the teenager’s death had gone viral. Perhaps, it is one of the lowest points in the ongoing crisis that pitted Nicolás Maduro’s government against a nation that has been begging for basic needs such as food, water and medicine.
The crisis has also severely impacted the nation’s healthcare system resulting in more than 3 million Venezuelans fleeing the country and moving to South American neighbors.
Typically, public hospitals have generators for back-up during blackouts, but Reuters has reported that they were either damaged or idled due to lack of fuel.
Although some of the nation’s 23 states had occasional electricity on Sunday, it wasn’t enough to prevent the deaths of 17 patients; 15 of whom failed to receive their scheduled dialysis treatments, according to interim president Juan Guaidó.
While Health Minister Carlos Alvarado failed to mention the confirmed deaths in his comments on TV, he stressed that generators are part of the government’s contingency plan to ensure that Venezuelan medical facilities have enough power for its patients.
Meanwhile, Maduro blamed the United States claiming that it sabotaged the Guri hydroelectric dam located in the southeastern part of Bolivar, which generates more than 60 percent of the country’s electrical power.
Further, the socialist leader also tweeted on Sunday that steps were taken to make sure that basic necessities have been distributed to hospitals and other places including firefighters helping residents draw water from a nearby river.
Fuel supplies were purportedly guaranteed by state oil company PDVSA however, only 100 of the 1,800 service stations in the country were operating due to the blackout. Lines at fuel stations remained long as drivers queued for gasoline and diesel.
Source: Daily Mail