COVID-19: Chile surpasses Germany and Iran to become 9th worst-hit country in the world

The South American country now has a total of 225,103 cases of coronavirus and at least 3,841 confirmed deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.–Photo by MINSAL

SANTIAGO – Chile on Thursday overtook Germany and Iran to become the 9th country with highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.

The Ministry of Health reported 4,475 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of infected people to 225,103 since last March 3, when the so-called ‘patient 0’ was reported.

In addition, 226 deaths due to COVID-19 were reported, bringing the total number to 3,841.

Health Minister Enrique Paris emphasized that the Minsal campaign will continue to focus on “detecting cases by doing many exams and tracing them in order to be isolated.”

According to the Undersecretary of Public Health, Paula Daza, there are 353 mechanical ventilators available in the country and 1,572 patients connected to mechanical ventilation. Daza added that there are currently 10,933 rooms available in 139 healthcare residences across the country.

Likewise, in the last 24 hours, 16,997 PCR tests were reported, reaching a total of 903,166.

On Wednesday, the Chilean authorities announced that five new communes will enter a mandatory quarantine: San Felipe and Los Andes, in the Valparaíso Region, Rancagua and Machalí, in the O’Higgins Region, and the urban radius of Curicó, in the Maule.

Along these same lines, the undersecretary for Crime Prevention, Katherine Martorell, reported the reduction of individual permits from 5 to 2 per person, during the daytime per week. Also, the safe conducts may only be used for funeral or medical procedures, and the sole work permit will be requested from public officials and workers in food services and essential commerce.

Another action that took place this Wednesday is the project that increases sanctions for those who do not comply with sanitary measures, which the Chamber of Deputies dispatched to law. In detail, fines of up to 200 UTM (more than $ 10 million) and penalties of up to 3 years in prison will be applied to people who violate the regulations.

South America has become the new epicentre of the global coronavirus outbreak, with Chile, Peru and Brazil particularly hard hit.

Iran, which reported its first coronavirus cases and deaths on the same day in February, the Middle East’s first and biggest outbreak of the virus, now ranks 10th in the list of countries with highest number of coronavirus. The Asian nation has a total of 197,647 cases, with 9,272 deaths.

Germany, which now ranks 11th, has a total of 189,565 cases and has so far recorded 8,933 deaths.

Chile now has 11th highest number of COVID-19 cases worldwide; 3,383 confirmed dead