June 15, 2020

Chile’s Health Ministry announces that it will incorporate probable Covid-19 deaths in the epidemiological report

Chile’s Health Ministry announces that it will incorporate probable Covid-19 deaths in the epidemiological report
Health Minister Enrique Paris reiterated his call for dialogue and his willingness to listen to opinions from all sectors.

The daily update on Covid-19 in Chile had a new format that included the presence of healthcare officials and experts.

Health Minister Enrique Paris said that the Health Ministry's mission is to keep all the people of Chile in the best state of health and to this end, it is working in four key areas: containing the disease, finding and isolating the people who are infected and treating the sick.

Referring to the latter point, the Minister said that primary healthcare is the powerhouse of this strategy: “We believe that this is the most powerful weapon for attacking the coronavirus”.

As a third point, he said that this strategy goes hand-in-hand with dialogue, with taking on board criticism and listening to the people who want to express an opinion. “Having fluid relationships with scientific societies, professional associations and with people who have got together to study the data, in order to listen to their opinions and reach a consensus. What we want is to continue strengthening the transparency of our data,” added Minister Paris.

Broadening the reporting of Covid-19 deaths

The Head of the Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Department, Rafael Araos, explained that a daily report is produced in Chile of those people whose death certificates confirm them as having died as a result of Covid-19 and for whom there is also positive result from a PCR test. He said that now the authorities are considering also including in the report those deaths that are probably due to Covid-19, but where the confirmatory criteria are lacking.

“After months of hard work by the Health Statistics and Information Department (DEIS) and the Epidemiology Department, with very significant support from the Science Ministry, we are in a position to not only report those cases of deaths that have been registered as due to Coronavirus but also those deaths that could be due to Covid-19 although the confirmatory criteria are lacking,” Mr Araos explained. He highlighted that this is an enormous step forward and that the timeframe for providing this data would be announced during the week.