This afternoon, at La Moneda Palace, the second meeting of the Covid-19 Social Roundtable was held, led by the Interior and Public Security Minister, Gonzalo Blumel. The following people also participated: Health Minister Jaime Mañalich and Science Minister Andrés Couve; representatives from the following local government associations: Asociación de Municipalidades de Chile (José Miguel Arellano), Asociación Chilena de Municipalidades (Germán Codina) and Asociación de Municipios Rurales (Cristián Balmaceda); the Deans of the Universidad Católica (Ignacio Sánchez) and Universidad de Chile (Ennio Vivaldi); the President of the medical association Colegio Médico, Izkia Siches; former Health Minister Carmen Castillo; former President of the medical association Enrique Paris; and the WHO/PAHO representative for Chile, Fernando Leanes.
Following the meeting, which lasted almost two hours, Minister Blumel gave details of the four specific agreements that had been reached.
“The first is one that had been previously suggested, which is a daily report issued by the health authorities. It will be implemented in the next few hours or starting tomorrow. The second is the creation of a databank, providing information for academic and research purposes, to be used by academic institutions and universities. This will be overseen by Minister Couve,” he stated.
Third, the Interior Minister stated that an agreement had been reached to establish a sub-roundtable of mayors, led by the Regional Development Undersecretary, with the participation of the Health Ministry. The purpose is “to be able to coordinate protocols and additional measures to be implemented via the municipalities. There are 345 municipalities in Chile, and they make up an important part of the public institutional structure. This coordination is key to improving the effectiveness of the measures being taken at the national level. It is very important that there is one voice, one strategy, and that there is unity in our actions, but we must also be able to take advantage of our public institutions, not only at the central State level but also at the local government level.”
Fourth, Minister Blumel said, “we have agreed to create regional coordination systems, led by the regional health authorities, so that coordination at the national level can be deployed effectively, in a participative manner, to all the different regions in the country.”
Finally, Minister Blumel stated that, for health safety reasons, the next meeting will be held online. He thanked “all the health care workers who are doubling their efforts and facing risks in order to safeguard the health of the entire population. We have taken every measure, we have agreed to provide them with the greatest amount of personal protection equipment so that those risks are minimal because they are the true heroes in this crusade against the pandemic.”