Speaking from La Moneda Palace, health officials provided an update on the coronavirus situation in Chile. Health Minister Enrique Paris emphasized that the PCR test positivity rate in the Metropolitan Region had reached a record low of 2%.
Eleven regions in the country have seen a decrease in the number of cases over the last seven days and eleven regions also experienced declines over the last 14 days. Nevertheless, the Health Minister recognized that there are parts of the country that have not been able to move forward under the step-by-step plan.
“We have seen major efforts being made, especially outside of Santiago. We understand the frustration of some municipalities and regions that have not been able to move forward under the step-by-step plan. However, decisions are made based on health criteria, very specific criteria that are being applied equally across all of Chile by a task force that not only includes ministers and undersecretaries, but the President himself,” explained Minister Paris. He added that “no one wants to prolong the quarantines. We know that people are suffering, but we also don’t want to have an explosion in the number of cases, which would overwhelm the health system and lead to more deaths. We are trying very hard to achieve a delicate balance. It is not easy. We want to encourage the municipalities of Puerto Montt, Purranque, Los Muermos and Río Negro and we ask all of these municipalities to make a final push,” urged the Health Minister.
Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza provided information on the municipalities that were moving forward under the step-by-step plan, beginning this Thursday, November 12 at 5:00 AM:
Following an announcement by pharmaceutical company Pfizer and BioNTech that their COVID-19 vaccine was 90% effective, Minister Paris noted that this vaccine has been tested on more than 43,000 people.
“This is a positive development because we already have a signed agreement with this company. It is a new vaccine that requires two doses and must be maintained at a much lower temperature than other vaccines. Seven days after the second dose was administered, they are finding that it offers 90% protection. The company estimates that they will be able to supply 50 million doses by the end of this year and 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021,” stated the Minister.