Chile confirms first Codelco death from COVID-19

SANTIAGO – Chile’s Federation of Copper Workers (FTC) on Saturday reported the death of one its officials from coronavirus at the world’s largest copper miner, Codelco.

The 48-year-old victim, who belonged to the Mine Crushing Unit of the Chuquicamata Division, is survived by two daughters.

The FTC called upon Codelco to apply unrestricted protocols that help prevent the virus from spreading.

“As a Federation of Workers we send our condolences and expressions of deep respect and pain, to their family and coworkers, along with reaffirming that our main concern and attention during this health emergency is to protect the life and health of the workers who we represent,” an FTC statement read.

“In this context, we reiterate and demand the Codelco administration the unrestricted application of protocols that appease the spread of the coronavirus among Codelco workers, in each and every one of its divisions,” it added.

Chile’s Codelco has managed to keep operating at close to normal rates, helping prevent markets from tightening further. But maintaining output may become more difficult as Covid-19 cases in the country surge. With a population of just 18 million, Chile is reporting new cases on a per-capita basis at a pace comparable to that of Spain at the peak of the spread in March, pushing hospitals toward collapse and prompting authorities to tighten restrictions.

Chile reports record daily deaths from COVID-19, with over 127,000 cases

Chile’s Ministry of Health on Saturday reported 5,246 new cases of coronavirus, reaching a total of 127,745 since the start of the pandemic in early March. In addition, 93 people died in the last day, bringing the number of fatalities in the country to 1,541.