Do as I Say, Not as I Do

Marcelo Montecinos/The Santiago Times Staff

While Chile continues to climb the Covid-19 worldwide charts for contagion and deaths, its president, Sebastian Piñera, throws caution, and protocol, to the wind at the funeral of his uncle, Bernardino Piñera in Santiago on Sunday.

The law was flouted when more than 5 people were present at the funeral. It was irresponsibly thrashed when the casket was opened to allow the president for one last view of his deceased uncle. The law is very clear during this pandemic: Caskets must stay closed at all times, due to the danger of contagion. This was not done by the leader of the country whom should be showing an example of following laws. The deceased was diagnosed as having Covid-19.

No wonder the rest of the country continues to defy lockdowns and curfews, in spite of continually rising new Covid-19 cases.

Watching the video did not stop Paula Daza, Undersecretary of the Health Ministry, from stating to T13 AM that “protocol was absolutely followed. This states that coffins have to be sealed and so it was.”

Parliament deputy Gabriel Ascencio asked for the Ministry of Health to investigate if sanitary protocol was followed by attendees at the funeral. He also asked for the more than 20 people present, including president officials and the very President, to enter voluntary quarantine.

In an interview with radio UChile, he said: “This denounced situation is especially sensitive, since thousands of families have lost a relative and have had to refrain from holding a ceremony with all their relatives and saying goodbye as they would have liked. That is why it is important that the authorities are the first example for the rest of the citizenry ”

The video has created an upheaval in Chile, where official Covid-19 numbers have been questioned as being overstated over the last few weeks.