Meet Juanita – the oldest patient in Chile to recover from Covid-19

111-year-old beat coronavirus

Ross Brown/The Santiago Times Staff

SANTIAGO – A 111-year-old Chilean woman has made a full recovery from the novel coronavirus, according to government officials.

Juana Zúñiga became the oldest patient in the South American country to recover from Covid-19, authorities said on Wednesday, more a month after she tested positive after an outbreak at her care home. Despite suffering from respiratory problems even before the pandemic, she was not seriously affected by the virus.

Ms Zúñiga, who is known as Juanita, has been a resident of the care home near the capital, Santiago, ever since her sister, with whom she lived, died six years ago.

She was among seven staff and 18 residents at the home who were tested positive for the coronavirus on April 12. The doctors who were treating the patient said that she had barely shown any symptoms of the disease.

Juanita was moved to an isolation ward, where she was cared for by members of the government’s National Service for the Elderly. She stayed on the isolation ward for 28 days.

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Chile announced its first confirmed coronavirus case on March 3. To date, the country has more than 86,943 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 890 people have died. On March 18, Chile closed borders for foreigners. President Sebastian Pinera declared a national emergency. Mass gatherings were banned and some other restrictions were imposed.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus – named COVID-19 by the WHO – have been reported in every corner of the globe.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 5.86 million people have been infected worldwide and more than 360,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,569,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

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