April 1, 2020

The Health authorities announce the implementation of sanitary customs at bus stations

The Health authorities announce the implementation of sanitary customs at bus stations
The measure will begin to operate today in the Metropolitan Region and will be gradually rolled out throughout the rest of Chile.

Following the conclusion of the COVID-19 meeting at La Moneda Palace presided over by the President of Chile, Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza and Healthcare Networks Undersecretary Arturo Zúñiga delivered the latest status report on the pandemic in Chile. 

The COVID-19 report revealed that the total number of confirmed cases in Chile now stands at 3,031, with 293 new ones since the previous day’s report, according to Health Minister Jaime Mañalich.

Of the people who have tested positive for the virus, 173 are in hospital; 142 (82%) of them are in intensive care or intermediate units and 31 of them are in a life-threatening condition. An additional 4 deaths have been recorded, bringing the national total to 16 people. Two of them were from the La Araucanía Region, 1 from Los Ríos and 1 from the Metropolitan Region.

Centralization of beds

The health officials said that the integrated healthcare network for COVID-19 has been in operation since yesterday. It is being coordinated by the Healthcare Networks Undersecretary.

Undersecretary Arturo Zúñiga explained there are currently 37,770 public and private hospital beds and 1,229 mechanical ventilators, which will operate as one sole healthcare network.

“Yesterday we had our second meeting with the representatives from the private healthcare providers, during which I explained how this will operate in terms of the provision of information in order to manage beds centrally. In this way, if there is a region that needs beds, they can be managed at the central level,” explained the Healthcare Networks Undersecretary.

On this point, Health Minister Jaime Mañalich highlighted that “the fundamental element going forward is going to be the availability of mechanical ventilators and so the undersecretary has given orders that the management of all the ventilators in Chile in both the public and private networks, will be centralized.”

Exams and residences

In terms of diagnostic capacity, it was announced that the results from an average of 2,500 tests per day are being reported. Undersecretary Zúñiga stated that a total of 39 laboratories are now operating in Chile, and a further 10 will be added in the coming days.

“We have been able to reduce the number of delayed exams, except in the Magallanes Region, where the regional laboratory is still not operating at full capacity. The local capacity is 50 exams a day and so some of these samples are still being analyzed in Santiago. This will be corrected next Friday,” explained the Minister.

Speaking about the Health Residences, which are places assigned for people who are sick with COVID-19 but cannot spend their quarantine at home, Undersecretary Zúñiga said that, “as of yesterday we had over 1,800 rooms available throughout Chile.”

Sanitary Customs Posts 

Meanwhile, Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza reiterated that “one of the objectives of the national COVID-19 plan is to contain the spread of the virus in the country and thus we have been implementing measures focused on finding infected people, isolating them in good time and identifying their close contacts.”

She added that 90 sanitary customs posts have been set up in Chile. These are places where control is carried out to ask people about where they are coming from and going to, take their temperature and check for symptoms. As of today, sanitary customs posts will be set up in bus stations in the Metropolitan Region, a measure that will gradually be rolled out throughout the country.

“Today at the San Borja bus station; tomorrow we will be setting one up at the Los Héroes bus station, and we will continue setting up sanitary customs posts at all the bus stations in Chile. This means that before a bus leaves, we will detect in time if anyone has a temperature or could be infected so as to prevent them from getting on the bus. This will be implemented over the course of this week and the next,” said the Undersecretary.


The Undersecretary also welcomed the high percentage of flu vaccinations that have been given with 72% of the target population having now been immunized. Of this number, 75% are senior citizens.