Health Minister Jaime Mañalich has announced that 12 new municipalities in Santiago are to become subject to quarantine, taking the total number of quarantined districts in the capital to 25. The measure will go into effect as of 10 pm on Friday and will last for seven days.
The following are the municipalities concerned: Cerro Navia, Conchalí, La Granja, San Miguel, Lo Espejo, Macul, Lo Prado, Peñalolén, La Florida, Renca, San Joaquín and La Cisterna.
These are in addition to 13 municipalities where the quarantine already in place is going to be maintained for a further 7 days, including: Quilicura, Recoleta, Independencia, Quinta Normal, Santiago, Estación Central, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, Cerrillos, San Ramón, El Bosque and La Pintana. The quarantine in place for parts of Puente Alto and San Bernardo is being extended.
The only municipality in the Metropolitan Region where quarantine will be lifted as of 10 pm this Thursday is Ñuñoa.
“We once again call on people to admire what is happening in different regions of Chile. Our very sincere thanks go to the men and women in those places who have understood and taken to heart the call to take care of themselves and others. We are asking for this to also happen in the greater Santiago area because it is vital that the number of cases in the city decreases quickly. The only way to do this is with the measures we have indicated, however painful they are, and we appeal to everyone to understand that we are all in this together: the Mayors, the Government, members of Congress and the citizens,” the Minister said.
The Minister added that barriers are going to be put up on all the access roads from the Metropolitan Region to Valparaíso and Viña del Mar to avoid the virus being spread from the central area to the coastal region.
“People need to remain calm. While there are measures to limit mobility, that does not mean that there will be any problems with the supply of essential services. Distribution centers like the Vega Central market will continue functioning,” the Health Minister emphasized in order to avoid people crowding into stores as a reaction to the quarantine measure.
The Health Minister also stated that quarantine is to be lifted for the urban part of Punta Arenas but that the cordon sanitaire will remain in place to avoid infection spreading to places near to the capital of the Magallanes Region.
“We want to protect the other communities and that is why, despite lifting the quarantine in the city of Punta Arenas, we are going to retain a very strict cordon sanitaire at all the entrance and exit points to avoid infected people going to a vulnerable neighborhood.»
In regard to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile, 1,032 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in the last 24 hours, of which 893 are people who have developed the virus and 139 people are without symptoms. As of today, 23,048 cases of the disease have been registered nationwide.
In terms of the people in hospital, there are 486 patients in intensive care units, 385 of whom are connected to mechanical ventilators and 85 of them are in a critical condition.
The Minister regretted the death of 6 people (1 from Arica, 1 from Valparaíso and 4 from the Metropolitan Region). To date, a total of 281 people have died from COVID-19 in Chile.
Meanwhile, 11,189 people have recovered.
In regard to the CRP diagnostic tests, in the last 24 hours the results for 10,013 tests came back from the laboratories. This is the highest figure since testing began and means that 232,108 tests have been carried out to date.
Speaking about this figure, the Minister said, “as a country we have reached a rate of 11,618 CRP tests per million inhabitants,” so Chile’s testing rate is high by international standards.
“This is important. In the last day, the positive test rate was 10.31%. That is to say that 1 out of every 10 people taking the CRP test has a positive result,“ the Health Minister said.
Speaking about the launch of the COVID-19 ID card, the Minister announced, “we will soon be traveling to a city which has been successful in this regard, where we will provide the first COVID-19 ID cards that show that a person has now recovered from the disease. This is a card indicating medical discharge, where the person will no longer have the anxiety of wondering whether or not they will get sick but instead have some certainty.”