Marcelo Montecinos/The Santiago Times Staff
SANTIAGO – It’s no wonder that Santiago’s favorite beach destination, Valparaiso Region, has Chile’s second-highest cases of Covid-19; most Chileans travel there en mass every long weekend and summer.
While 22 mayors of the affected region pleaded with government officials to quarantine the region, Paula Daza, the sub-secretary of Public Health, opened two new sanitary refuges for the infected.
To the inhabitants of the region, the move is slap-in-the-face, and too little, too late. The beautiful beach areas of their communities are a constant magnet for the affluent Chileans that own properties, and travel there every chance they get; bringing the dangerous bug along with them with every trip. On the last long weekend, 50,000 people travelled to the region. Another 20-30 thousand people live there and commute to their work places in Santiago every week day.
The longer government officials postpone placing the region into total quarantine, the higher the chances this ticking time bomb will explode. Adding few extra beds to the area will not help.