Chile’s Health officials provided an update on the COVID-19 virus epidemiological situation in Chile following the Emergency Committee meeting that is held every day in La Moneda Palace.
Health Minister Jaime Mañalich said that the Government has opted for a strategy to control this disease that has been called strategic and dynamic quarantine, whereby quarantine is applied to some districts and lifted from others, according to the epidemiological situation in each location.
This decision is taken by measuring different factors. “The number of new cases is the most important for establishing the measure,” explained the Minister. He added, “it also depends on the community’s level of fragility: how many residential homes for seniors there are in the area; the age profile there; how many chronically sick people attend municipal programs, among other factors.”
The Minister continued, “what we are going to observe over the coming weeks in Chile is that there will be areas - fundamentally municipalities - where quarantine will be lifted and others where quarantine is applied. This will be announced every Tuesday.”
Based on the stipulations of the COVID-19 Advisory Committee, the Health Ministry has defined that a patient is regarded as having recovered - or as not infectious - 14 or 28 days after their diagnosis, depending on that person’s characteristics.
If the patient has had a mild case, which was managed at home and did not have symptoms or if the patient was hospitalized and then discharged, also without symptoms, the criterion established by the Advisory Committee is that that person will be considered as recovered, immune or non-infectious 14 days after the date on which their symptoms began or they were diagnosed or discharged from hospital.
Those people whose immune system is compromised can be considered as non-infectious 28 days following the onset of their symptoms or when they were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Minister Mañalich explained that the Advisory Committee had established that the CRP test “cannot be used as a criterion for defining whether or not a person is infectious, because as has already been mentioned, it is feasible that a person who had a coronavirus infection continues to test positive with the CRP exam.” So the best way of discharging a patient is through a test that measures the Immunoglobulin G, which is the antibody of the memory, which will begin to be used this Friday.
Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza reported that yesterday 312 new cases of the disease had been recorded, bringing the national total of diagnosed people to 7,525.
Of them, 2,567 people are considered to have recovered, while 387 people are in hospital, of whom 330 are on mechanical ventilators, 100 of them in a critical condition.
The Undersecretary regretted the death of two people in the last 24 hours. One person was from the Magallanes Region, the other from the Metropolitan Region. Both were senior citizens with comorbidities. To date, the deaths of 82 people have been registered.
So far, the results have come in for 85,035 CRP tests, 2,764 of them yesterday.
Meanwhile, Health Care Networks Undersecretary Arturo Zúñiga explained that today there are 577 mechanical ventilators that are “available for any citizen who needs them, irrespective of the region where he/she lives. This availability continues to increase and they are assigned according to epidemiological need.”