Dario Vivas, the Mayor of Venezuela’s capital Caracas on Thursday died after suffering from novel coronavirus for more than three weeks.
Vivas, a senior member of the ruling socialist party, had said on Twitter on July 19 that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was going into self-isolation.
Taking to Twitter, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said, “He died in combat … taking care of his health and all of us in this difficult battle against the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Vivas is the first top-level government official to die of COVID-19, although several others have tested positive, including Diosdado Cabello, the president of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC); Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami; and several governors and mayors of the South American nation.
Venezuela had reported 29,088 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, with 247 deaths. Those are both among the lowest figures in South America, but doctors and opposition politicians warn that the true caseload is likely far higher given testing delays, citing data from healthcare workers.
Officials have reported a relatively low number of cases since the first were discovered in mid-March.