SANTIAGO – Chile on Monday surpassed France to become the sixth country with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.
The South American country now has 298,557 cases of COVID-19 at the time of publishing, 932 postive cases more than Spain, according to official health ministry figures.
More than 3,000 new cases were reported during the last 24 hours, according to Minsal, while another 76 people lost their lives. The total number of virus-related fatalities has reached 6,384 since the pandemic began in Chile in mid-March.
In his daily briefing, Health Minister Enrique Paris indicated that the PCR positivity figure dropped to 19%, which is “good for the country.” However, he emphasized that this “does not mean lowering your arms.”
Paris explained that 22% corresponds to the average of the past seven days and that 19% to the rate of this Monday.
“We will continue working and following the recommendations of the committee of experts and the institutions that want to contribute,” he added.
A total of 16,377 PCR examinations were carried out in the last 24 hours, the minister further said.
Meanwhile, the Chilean police said they have issued more than 964,000 temporary permits in the last 24 hours.
Permisos Temporales últimas 24 hrs.:
✅Pago de Servicios: 0
✅Centro de Salud: 11.542
✅Paseo Mascotas: 17.980
✅Apoyo Adultos Mayores: 384
Total: 964.818 pic.twitter.com/3k4McMqLuH
— Carabineros de Chile (@Carabdechile) July 6, 2020
Yesterday, President Sebastian Pinera announced a new $1.5 billion package of measures to help keep the country’s ailing middle class afloat as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the economy of the world´s top copper producer.
The measures include access to zero-interest loans, subsidized rent and the ability to defer mortgage loan payments for up to six months, Pinera said in a televised speech.
“The coronavirus pandemic…is hitting our middle class hard,” Pinera said, touting the fresh round of stimulus as a bailout at least 1 million families.
La clase media también enfrenta problemas y necesita ayuda, especialmente en tiempos de Pandemia.
Por eso hoy, complementando la Red de Protección Social, impulsamos 4 programas de #ProtecciónClaseMedia que significarán un alivio para 1MM de familias.
Detalles en este video: pic.twitter.com/tIcKaZZCa6
— Sebastian Piñera (@sebastianpinera) July 5, 2020
Unemployment crested 11% between March and May and is expected to continue to rise as lockdown measures in the capital Santiago take their toll. The central bank has predicted GDP will plunge by as much as 7.5% in 2020, the worst in 35 years.