Ross Brown/The Santiago Times Staff
SANTIAGO – Chile on Thursday reported that 49 people have died from coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours – the highest number of daily deaths since the start of the pandemic in the South American country – bringing the total number of COVID-19 fatalities to 890.
According to the Ministry of Health, 4,654 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the country, bringing the total number of infected people to 86,943. Of these, 4,128 were symptomatic and 526 were asymptomatic.
Meanwhile, Chilean authorities have extended a total quarantine in the 38 communes of the Metropolitan Region until, at least, Friday, June 5.
Health Minister Jaime Manalich, in a press conference, informed that the country currently has 346 mechanical fans available, to which will be added another 64 that will arrive in Chile this Thursday.
Likewise, he underlined that “we have had a significant increase in exams carried out”, with 15,650 in the last 24 hours, reaching a total of 530,173.
The confinement will also continue for another week in Iquique, Alto Hospicio and Lonquimay, while in Antofagasta and Mejillones the restriction will be lifted this Friday.
Yesterday, President Sebastian Piñera announced expansion in the country’s Sanitary Network, which now includes 66 spaces with more than 2,500 rooms, where patients have food, around-the-clock medical attention, internet access and television.
Piñera said they plan to double the capacity to be able to accommodate more patients because the public health service “is very close to its maximum capacity.”
The Pan-American Health Organization said this week that the Americas has become the new epicenter of the coronavirus, warning that the spike in deaths across Latin America can last into August.
Chile is under a state of emergency, with a night curfew since mid-March, with schools, universities and borders closed, as well as most of the shops that are not essential items.
With the new cases reported, Chile continues to maintain third place in the Latin American countries with the highest number of infections, being surpassed by Peru and Brazil. At least 36,115 people have also recovered from the disease since the outbreak began in early March.