CARACAS, March 16. /TASS/. Seven Venezuelan states, including capital Caracas, will be quarantined starting early Monday over the novel coronavirus outbreak, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday.
"A public quarantine enters into force in seven states at 5:00am [local time] on Monday," Maduro said in a speech broadcast on Twitter.
The quarantine will be imposed in Caracas, Miranda, Cojedes, Zulia, Apure, Tachira and La Guaira. "We do not rule out that other states will be quarantined as well," Maduro noted.
In the quarantinued states, people would have to stay at home and not go to work. Law enforcement agencies, police and "the sphere responsible for food provision" will continue operating. The Venezuelan authorities earlier announced temporary closure of all schools starting from Monday.
The first cases of the novel coronavirus in Venezuela were reported on March 13. The total number of cofirmed coronavirus cases has now reached 17.
The Chinese authorities registered an outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the city of Wuhan. Cases of novel coronavirus were confirmed in more than 100 countries and territories, including in Russia. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Outside of China, most cases of the new coronavirus were reported in South Korea, Iran and Italy.
According to the latest reports, over 153,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in the world, and the death toll surpassed 5,700.