Following the COVID-19 Emergency Committee meeting presided over by President Sebastián Piñera, Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza announced that the quarantine established for the districts of Temuco and Padre las Casas in the Araucanía Region, which was due to end tomorrow, will now be extended until 10 pm next Thursday, April 16, “when we will evaluate the measures to be taken,” the Undersecretary added.
She explained, “we are basing all of these decisions on the epidemiological situation, which is to say how many people are getting infected in a place, an area of land, and in relation to the population size.” So all of the measures can be renewed or reversed.
The Undersecretary explained again the measures that are being implemented for the Easter holiday. These include the cordons sanitaires being established around the Metropolitan Region and the city of Concepción from 6 pm tomorrow until 10 pm on Sunday, which are designed to avoid the movement of people to other areas of the country and she called on people to comply with the rules.
“It is important to reiterate that everyone must stay in their home and not go to a second home, irrespective of what region they are in,” she added.
The Crime Prevention Undersecretary, Katherine Martorell, reminded the public that “today, when measures are imposed that restrict freedom for health-related reasons, they are a prohibition. So when we talk about the permits or safe conduct permits that you can obtain, they are an exception.”
She continued that failing to comply with this prohibition “is a crime that is subject to imprisonment and fines even in excess of 50 million pesos” (around US$59,000).
On the last day, 430 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Chile, so there are now 5,546 people registered as having the disease. “As of yesterday, we counted a total of 1,115 people who have recovered, that is 20% of the total number of people who have been infected,” said Health Care Networks Undersecretary Arturo Zúñiga.
As of today, 362 people are in hospital, 316 of them on mechanical ventilators and 57 in a critical condition. The Undersecretary regretted the death of five more people. They were all over 70 years of age and from the following regions: Valparaíso (1), Metropolitan (2), La Araucanía (1) and Magallanes (1).
In regard to the number of tests carried out, yesterday the results came in for 3,269 tests and the total number of tests analyzed to date is 60,391.
Undersecretary Zúñiga stated that the integrated healthcare network, including hospitals and private facilities, currently “has a bed occupancy rate of 63% in intensive care units, so today we have 575 beds available for patients who need them.”
By way of example, he explained that in the Araucanía Region there are normally 43 intensive care beds, “which we have increased to 67 through different measures, so today we have five beds available to attend to new cases.”
The officials once again thanked Chile’s healthcare workers for their work. “These are going to be very hard weeks with very intensive work and that is why we hope that the gesture made by the people of Chile last night towards the healthcare workers will be seen from now onwards,” concluded Undersecretary Zúñiga.