CARACAS, Venezuela — Calls to pray for the health of Venezuelans intensified in the country’s capital Saturday as the country grappled with a spike in cases and the deaths of some workers.
A day after a man died after contracting Ebola in a funeral parlor, President Nicolas Maduro and Health Minister Carlos Menem asked Venezuelans to pray.
“My prayer is for God to be with us, and for God’s help to restore us.””
Maduro, who has pledged to fight the deadly virus with a plan to quarantine some 250,000 people in the coming weeks, also appealed to Venezuelans for prayers. “
My prayer is for God to be with us, and for God’s help to restore us.”
Maduro, who has pledged to fight the deadly virus with a plan to quarantine some 250,000 people in the coming weeks, also appealed to Venezuelans for prayers.
“Let us pray that God will help us and our country,” he said.
The government also said the number of people who have tested positive for Ebola has reached 1.8 million.
It has also said that there are at least 2,500 suspected cases, and that the virus is spreading faster than at any time since the outbreak began.
In the worst-hit province of Barinas, where the virus has spread most, more than 80 people died, and at least two other deaths have been confirmed, the government said.
There are no reports of deaths among workers.
More than 2,000 suspected cases of the virus have been reported in the past two days, according to the World Health Organization.
More: The World Health Organisation has declared a state of emergency in parts of the country, including in Barinas.
The region has been hit hard by the outbreak.
More than 100,000 Venezuelans have been infected with the virus, according a health ministry statement.
Health Minister Carlos Manuel Rodríguez said Sunday that a government decree will allow him to order the closure of the entire province of Oaxaca on Saturday and extend the ban to the rest of the state, including parts of Tachira, Oaxabaya and San Cristobal.
A second decree will also allow the government to temporarily extend the quarantine period in some areas in the province, including Tachiran, San Cristóbal, and San Nicolás.
Venezuela has been under a state, national and local lockdown since Sunday.
At least 1,829 people have died, most of them from the virus.
The toll is expected to rise as more people are admitted to hospitals.
Maduro has repeatedly called for the suspension of the quarantine in order to get more people to hospital.
He said Saturday that the country has the capacity to quarantine as many as 1 million people, but has asked for more time to implement a new rule allowing the government and private health facilities to open.