Chile's capital Santiago and 14 other communes nearby communes are to return to phase 3 of the national Government's contingency plan, following 929 COVID-19 infections detected in the last 24 hours, out of a total of 1,677 nationwide, it was announced Monday.
The new restrictions are to become effective Wednesday, it was decided, after the sixth consecutive day with more than a thousand infections nationwide. We are concerned about the situation in the Metropolitan region, which in some days has exceeded 3 percent positivity of PCR tests, Health Minister Enrique Paris explained.
President Sebastián Piñera had admitted earlier Monday that in recent weeks we have had a reappearance in the number of infections and hospitalizations. He also insisted opn the importance of individual preventive hygiene measures in addition to the use of face masks plus physical distancing and ventilating indoor spaces.
The President also called for the continuation of the national vaccination plan as a measure to avoid deaths and hospitalizations from coronavirus. Every day we are going to be tougher and more demanding so that everyone gets vaccinated, warned Piñera, who said that only then will we be able to overcome the pandemic.
Chile has 9,973 active cases, the highest number since last July 20, when there were 10,400. With Monday's data, the country has already accumulated six consecutive days registering more than 1,000 daily cases. The measures will be in effect seven days a week and there will no longer be mobility restrictions, authorities said.
Undersecretary of Healthcare Networks Alberto Dougnac said what will change “is essentially restricting capacity.” Those with “a mobility pass can hold social gatherings with a capacity of up to 25 people. Meanwhile, if there is one [person present who] does not have a mobility pass, this number is reduced to 10 people.
Dougnac also said attendance to face-to-face activities at nurseries, kindergartens and schools is voluntary, but opening of the facilities is mandatory, while in the case of universities classes and face-to-face activities are allowed.
The official also said that of the 443 people admitted to intensive care units for COVID-19, 353 were connected on mechanical ventilation support.
Piñera also pointed out Monday that in recent months we have managed to significantly reduce the number of infections, hospitalizations, deaths, we are far from the crises we are experiencing today. half of last year and half of this year, but we are experiencing a certain regrowth of COVID-19.
The President also said there were still 1.2 unvaccinated Chileans on whom we are going to be tougher and more demanding so that everyone gets vaccinated, because that is the second great instrument that we have. And, of course, respect the rules of the Step Step Plan.” So far, 13,596,592 Chileans have taken two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Piñera claimed his handling of the health crisis had been recognized worldwide and “hopefully it will also be recognized here in Chile.” The total number of COVID-19 deaths reached 37,685 Monday.