Decree whereby an overall alarm status is declared for the purposes of attending the coronavirus health emergency.
March 23, 2020
Decree number 4.160 was published in Official Gazette N° 6.159 Extraordinary, dated March 13 of 2020 whereby an overall alarm status is declared for the purposes of allowing the Executive to adopt urgent, effective and necessary measures involving the protection and preservation of health of the Venezuelan population, and intended to mitigating and eliminating epidemic risks in connection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential strands, thereby ensuring timely, effective and efficient care of any cases that may be originated.
Amongst these measures to be adopted by the Executive as per the contents of the decree, follow:
In addition, the following actions are adopted immediately:
Next the decree establishes concurring measures in the event of contagion or suspected contagion and security enforcement public agencies are authorized to conduct any necessary inspections to any establishment, individual or vehicle if there are grounds to suspect any breaches to the provisions contained in this decree.
Similarly, the Presidential Committee for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention and Control is created, the object of which is to coordinate and advise on all matters concerning the implementation of any necessary measures adopted to put a halt on and controlling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The final provisions of the decree establish that the suspension or interruption of an administrative procedure as a result of the activity suspension measures or of the circulation restrictions issued, may not be considered as a cause attributable to the interested party and it may not be alleged as cause for delay or tardiness in the compliance of the obligations of the public administration. In any case, upon the suspension or restriction override, the public administration must immediately resume the procedure.
Finally, this decree will be effective for 30 days, subject to extension for 30 additional days, until the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic and its potential strands containment is deemed adequate, and all contagion factors are duly controlled. This decree will come into full force and effect as of the date of publication in the Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
It is important to emphasize that in execution of this Overall Alarm Status Decree, on March 15 of 2020 the President addressed the National on television and radio and announced that a “social and collective quarantine” was immediately effective in Caracas and six states: Miranda, Vargas, Zulia, Cojedes, Táchira and Apure, as of 5:00 a.m. on March 16 of 2020, which implied the suspension of employment activity, except for food supply chains, healthcare and sanitation services, police and military security enforcement and transportation services with the respective enforcement of mandatory use of protective mask for all passengers. Such quarantine measure was subsequently extended nationwide as of March 17 of 2020.
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