Following the COVID-19 Emergency Committee meeting presided over by President Sebastián Piñera, Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza and Healthcare Networks Undersecretary Arturo Zúñiga provided the daily report on the epidemiological situation of the disease in Chile.
During the update, Undersecretary Zúñiga said that the Official Gazette (Diario Oficial) had published the maximum price that Chile’s national health service Fonasa will pay for referring a patient who is a member of the public health service to a private establishment.
“This is the third time that we have fixed a price. The first was the maximum price for the CRP test. The second was the maximum price per square meter for rentals, both for health residences and hospitals. This is the third time we have fixed prices and the objective is to ensure we do not have any problems in providing hospitalization to each and every patient who needs it,” explained the Health Care Networks Undersecretary.
The Health officials reported that yesterday 356 new cases of COVID-19 had been recorded, bringing the total number of people diagnosed in Chile to 8,273. Of them, 2,937 are considered to have recovered, that is to say, more than 14 days have passed since they were diagnosed. Meanwhile, 5,242 people still have the active virus.
At present, 389 people are in hospital, of whom 315 are connected to mechanical ventilators and 91 are in a critical condition.
Undersecretary Paula Daza regretted the death of two citizens in the last 24 hours. One person was from La Araucanía Region and the other from the Metropolitan Region and both were senior citizens.
This takes the total number of fatalities to 94. She added that last night a patient in the San Juan de Dios Hospital had also died but this death was not included in this report because it occurred after the 9 pm cut-off point for the report.
As of today, the laboratories have provided the results for 91,873 CRP tests, 4,079 of which came in yesterday. The positive test rate is 9%.
In regard to ventilators, Undersecretary Arturo Zúñiga said that there are currently 577 units available in the integrated healthcare network. These are available to all citizens, irrespective of the region or hospital in which each patient is located.
He added that 743 healthcare workers have tested positive in the COVID-19 diagnostic test and one worker in the Araucanía Region is in a critical condition in hospital. “We send them our warmest regards, the maximum support and obviously we wish them a speedy recovery,” he said.
Undersecretary Paula Daza emphasized that as the Government and the Health Ministry, “we are working for the health of everyone in our country and not just to decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We are also very aware of the consequences that isolation has been producing in people.”
She said that some negative effects of quarantine had been evident. “We have seen an increase in alcohol consumption and also an effect on people’s mental health, such as increased anguish and anxiety and the sensation of loneliness that produces greater levels of depression and we have also seen a rise in domestic violence,” she explained.
She, therefore, highlighted the importance of the implementation of the strategic and dynamic quarantine that is being applied in Chile and called on people to respect these measures so that they achieve their objective. “It is vital that people respect them so that we can really respond effectively to this pandemic,” concluded Undersecretary Daza.