Chile's Medical College said that the coronavirus situation in Argentina was critical as a result of the Omicron variant and advised against traveling to the neighboring country.
It does not seem like a good idea to have the Paso Los Libertadores open, stressed José Miguel Bernucci, national secretary of the Medical College of Chile.
We believe that it is not the best time to travel to Argentina or for people who are in Argentina to travel to Chile because of the level of contagion that we see through Omicron, he went on.
He also underscored the importance of face masks and vaccination to make the Omicron wave not so severe, but warned problems might arise if hospitals are overwhelmed. “Today we have an occupancy of critical beds of around 90%, of which 30% correspond to COVID cases. So with a small increase (in more serious infections) the weak balance of our health system could be upset,” he highlighted.
He also explained Chile was beginning to have a concrete history of a growth in infections. “In Atacama, the effective R, that is, the number of people that someone can infect, is over 4. This is something never seen before, then there are certain areas where the situation is very severe.”
Meanwhile, Mendoza [Argentina] Migrations Official Juan Manuel Serrano said very few Argentines were interested in going to Chile for vacational purposes after travel restrictions were lifted Jan. 4, citing there were still too many requirements for entry and that the costs involved are high, in addition to long delays at the crossings, with a double checkpoint mechanism at Horcones and Los Libertadores, unlike before the pandemic when everything went through a unified customs office.
Another major delay is due to the control of the documentation and the tests that are carried out when entering Chile, Serrano explained. There is still a long way to go before we return to normal, he went on.