COVID-19: Chile confirms 3rd case of coronavirus

SANTIAGO – The Chilean Ministry of Health has confirmed the third case of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the South American country.

“This is a 56-year-old man, resident of the metropolitan region, who traveled across Europe and among others visited northern Italy,” the ministry said in a statement on late Wednesday.

The patient is in a normal condition and remains at home under medical supervision.

Earlier, Health Minister Jaime Manalich said the 33-year-old patient had been taken to a hospital in the city of Talca, around 350 kilometers to the south of the capital Santiago. He had mainly spent time in Singapore and arrived back in Chile on February 25.

The Talca hospital’s director, Alfredo Donoso, said the patient only started exhibiting coronavirus symptoms a week after returning to Chile, although those were “quite light.”

“He was admitted with a high fever, but then that became normal and he is now totally free of symptoms here in the Talca hospital and is in isolation,” said Donoso.

More than 95,000 people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19 – the novel strain of the coronavirus – the vast majority of them in China that is an epicenter of the epidemic. More than 3,200 people have died, but over 51,000 have recovered after the treatment.

As the number of deaths are rising in Iran, Italy and United States, Poland, Morocco, Andorra, Armenia and Argentina all confirmed their first cases of the virus in the past 24 hours.

A 43-year-old infected Argentine man had returned from Italy on March 1, Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia said Tuesday, adding the Argentine patient has been in isolation since presenting himself to a private health clinic in Buenos Aires the day he returned.

“We’ve identified a first case. It’s a patient who came from Italy” but had also traveled around other parts of Europe, said Gonzalez Garcia.

The minister, who added that “fortunately the case is not complicated,” said Argentina was prepared to tackle the virus.

“There are countries that have managed to prevent the spread and other countries that haven’t,” said Gonzalez Garcia. “I have every hope and belief that this will be contained.”–With input from MercoPress