Health Minister Enrique Paris and Healthcare Networks Undersecretary Arturo Zuñiga delivered Chile’s coronavirus pandemic update for the Arica and Parinacota region, where they toured the region’s healthcare network and met with local authorities.
The Health Minister said, “The slight improvement continues. The numbers support that trend. At the national level, confirmed cases are down 16% in the past seven days and 36% in the past 14 days. So the figures are encouraging.”
The positivity rate for PCR tests is 16%, which is the lowest average in the past seven days. However, the Minister said that this trip to the extreme north of Chile demonstrates that the situation outside of Santiago is being monitored closely.
“We are concerned about the areas outside of Santiago. We do not want to make decisions from 2,400 kilometers away, but rather on site. We are also concerned about Antofagasta, Tarapacá and O’Higgins, along with Arica – regions where the incidence per 100,000 residents is high. We have come here to work with local authorities to find a way to implement better measures to control the pandemic,” said the Minister.
Specifically, Arica is the city with the second highest prevalence of COVID-19 cases, at 226 per 100,000 inhabitants. The Minister explained that quarantines are not an easy decision and always take into consideration opinions from the regions.
“Quarantine is not an easy decision and is not made by the Health Minister and President alone, as some people have suggested. The decision is made by the crisis committee, which meets every day and makes decisions on Wednesdays and Sundays. Along with the data I bring, quarantine will be discussed in light of factors such as number of patients, PCR positivity rate, the healthcare and socio-economic situation in that place,” said Minister Paris.
In the last 24 hours, Chile recorded 2,755 new cases of coronavirus, of which 2,219 were people with symptoms, for a total of 312, 029 cases.
According to the Civil Registry, 100 deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total to 6,881.
Nationally, there are 1,999 patients in Intensive Care Units and 365 of them are in critical condition.
Undersecretary Zuñiga noted that, as of today, there are 453 ventilators available in the integrated health network.
In regards to PCR diagnostic tests, laboratories reported results for 18,268 tests in the last 24 hours, bringing the coronavirus-testing total to 1,273,627.
Furthermore, there are 10,088 vacancies and 5,771 patients at Chile’s 154 sanitary residences.
Authorities reiterated that people may access these residences by calling 800 726 666.