April 5, 2021

Health officials highlight concern over the pandemic situation

Health officials highlight concern over the pandemic situation
During the coronavirus update, authorities informed that the national critical bed occupancy reached 96% and the national positivity rate for COVID-19 was at 12.25%. -At the same time, the vaccination process against the coronavirus continues, reaching 6,940,748 people inoculated with the first dose of the vaccine.

“We are all witnessing a serious situation in regards to the pandemic,” expressed Health Minister Enrique París during the update of the COVID-19 situation in Chile.

“The World Health Organization has said we have 130 million people infected with coronavirus worldwide and that in the past days there has been an increase of more than 4 million cases over a seven day period.  This is the highest increase in infections since January, 2021.  Thus, we are experiencing a worrisome situation and we are witnessing a dramatic increase in cases throughout Latin America and the world,” reiterated the Minister. 

In regards to the situation in Chile, Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza urged people to take individual responsibility accordingly.  “Most people have adhered effectively and positively to the health norms.  However, we continue to see people who do not,” said the Undersecretary.  She went on to explain that close to 400 people had been arrested for participating in illegal parties and more than 9,700 people had been detained for not following health measures. 

During the update, officials highlighted that the process of vaccination against Influenza began on April 5.  The calendar started with people over 90 years old and pregnant women with more than 33 weeks of gestation.

Minister París informed that over 8 million vaccines had been acquired for the 2021 flu campaign and reiterated that for those residing in municipalities under quarantine a special permit was not required to go to the vaccination centers.  He also explained that the vaccination process against COVID-10 is still underway and as of yesterday, 6,940,748 people had received their first dose while 3,846,294 people had received their second one.

Effectiveness of vaccines against COVID-19

Epidemiologist and advisor to the Health Ministry, Rafael Araos, referred to the study of the effectiveness of the vaccine against coronavirus being carried out by the institution.  According to the specialist, a multidisciplinary group has been working on this subject matter since January of this year, tracking both people who have been vaccinated and those who have not been exposed to the vaccine, hoping to have enough time to conclude scientifically valid data on how the vaccine performs, especially the Sinovac vaccine which is the one with the least amount of information available.   

“If we were to stop and make a conclusion with data today, we can conclude with great certainty that both vaccines, and especially the Sinovac vaccine, are effective in preventing all types of infections from Sars-Cov2, for preventing symptomatic COVID infections, preventing hospitalizations and for preventing admittance to the ICU,” explained the expert. He also added that in regards to mortality, even though the information looks good, this is a “late reaction”, and therefore requires more time to make a more certain conclusion on its effectiveness. 

Publication of the results of this study along with the methodology is expected by the second week of April.

Plan Paso a Paso (Step-by-Step plan)

Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza announced the following changes to the Plan Paso a Paso to go into effect on Thursday, April 8 at 5am:

Advance to Transition: Combarbalá (Coquimbo Region); Cabildo (Valparaíso Region); Toltén, Lonquimay (La Araucanía Region); and Llanquihue (Los Lagos Region).

Advance to Preparation: Curepto (Maule Region); and Fresia (Los Lagos Region).

Move back to Preparation: Porvenir (Magallanes Region).

Move back to Transition: Andacollo (Coquimbo Region); Panquehue, Zapallar (Valparaíso Region); Pumanque (O’Higgins Region); Empedrado, Sagrada Familia (Maule Region); Quilaco (Biobío Region); Guaitecas, Chile Chico (Aysén Region); and Puerto Natales (Magallanes Region).

Move back to Quarantine: Vallenar (Atacama Region); Punitaqui (Coquimbo Region); Algarrobo, Los Andes, Hijuelas, Santa María, Calle Larga, Putaendo, San Felipe (Valparaíso Region); Peralillo, Requinoa, Las Cabras, Mostazal (O’Higgins Region); Villa Alegre (Maule Region); San Fabián, Yungay (Ñuble Region); San Rosendo (Biobío Region); and Purén (La Araucanía Region).