Chile recorded a 17% rise in confirmed new cases of COVID-19 nationwide last week and the 14-day average was up 36%, Health Minister Enrique Paris reported during the update on the coronavirus situation in Chile.
Given the increase in the number of cases, the Minister called on the public to be stricter about self-care measures. “This is the start of a very difficult week from a health perspective, and we need to continue to maintain the health measures in order to prevent the spread of the virus. I want to insist that while at family gatherings, everyone should practice social distancing, insist on hand washing, and refrain from sharing glasses and utensils. Furthermore, masks continue to be the most useful tool for preventing the spread of droplets,” he said.
Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza explained that over 50,000 inspections were conducted over the weekend that resulted in over 2,100 charges filed. Of these, 1,700 were filed against individuals and 40% were issued during the hours of curfew. The Undersecretary therefore announced that individual travel permits for weekends and holidays will be suspended beginning on March 27 because there is a need to decrease mobility. “Our country is facing a difficult situation. We have seen a significant increase in the number of cases in some municipalities. Many municipalities are under quarantine and over 90% of the population is in the Transition phase. We need to control the pandemic and, in order to do so, we must decrease mobility,” Undersecretary Daza explained, noting that the other permits remain in place.
Furthermore, it was announced that the Elige Vivir Sano (Choose to Live Healthily) schedule will be extended from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. at weekends and holidays only. During the rest of the week it will apply between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza announced the following changes to the plan. They go into effect at 5 a.m. on Thursday, March 25.
The following municipalities will move into Transition: El Quisco, Catemu (Valparaíso Region); Las Cabras (O’Higgins Region); and Quemchi and Palena (Los Lagos Region).
The following will move into Preparation: Tierra Amarilla (Atacama Region); Andacollo (Coquimbo Region); and Vichuquén (Maule Region).
The following municipalities will move back to Transition: Putaendo (Valparaíso Region); Codegua and Mostazal (O’Higgins Region); Cobquecura, El Carmen and Quirihue (Ñuble Region); and Nacimiento (Biobío Region).
The following will move back to Quarantine: Illapel (Coquimbo Region); Cabildo, Limache, La Cruz and La Calera (Valparaíso Region); Cerro Navia, Maipú, Lo Espejo, La Reina, Macul, San Joaquín, El Monte, Melipilla, Estación Central, San Pedro, Peñalolén, La Pintana, Independencia, Puente Alto, Ñuñoa, San Bernardo, Pirque, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, Pudahuel, La Granja and Peñaflor (Metropolitan Region); Olivar, Graneros and Rancagua (O’Higgins Region); Rauco, San Javier, Yerbas Buenas, San Clemente and Maule (Maule Region); San Carlos, Pinto and Quillón (Ñuble Region); Santa Juana, Laja and Yumbel (Biobío Region); and Puyehue and Quinchao (Los Lagos Region).
Minister Paris noted that 2 million COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Chile from China on Sunday. They were received by health officials and representatives from the Chinese Embassy and the Foreign Affairs Ministry. This brings the total number of Sinovac vaccines in Chile to 11,971,476 and the total number of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to 1,096,875.
As of noon on Thursday, the number of people who had received their first dose of the vaccines totaled 5,642,004. Of these, 2,834,125 were individuals over the age of 60.