The Chilean government on Wednesday imposed mandatory total quarantine on seven million people in the capital’s Santiago area after authorities reported a 60% increase in Covid-19 infections in 24 hours, beating hopes of a speedy economic reopening.
During the state of emergency declared in Latvia, DELFI publications on the disease caused by the new coronavirus Covid-19 are available free of charge. The opportunity to provide everyone with access to DELFI paid content for Covid-19 is provided by the “Central Laboratory”.
“The toughest measure I have to report is total quarantine for the Santiago Metropolitan Area, which is home to 80% of the more than 34,000 cases of the new coronavirus confirmed in Chile,” said Health Minister Haime Manalič.
The minister said quarantine, including in several areas where previous restrictive measures have been lifted, is needed after 2,260 new infections and 12 new deaths in the last 24 hours.
Prior to the announcement of the quarantine, the government asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide a flexible credit line of about $ 23.8 billion (€ 22 billion) for the next two years.
The credit line would help rebuild the economy after months of mass protests against the government of President Sebastian Pinera, whose shock to public revenues was exacerbated by the coronavir pandemic.
The quarantine will take effect on Friday at 10 pm (Saturday at 5 am Latvian time). During this time, residents will only be allowed to leave their home for important reasons, such as the purchase of food or medicine.
Chile has so far opted for a selective quarantine strategy in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Santiago and other major cities had command hours, but quarantine was limited to areas with high infection rates.
Chile also has the most active testing of Covid-19 in Latin America. There are 14,000 tests a day in the country, and a total of about 200,000 tests have been performed so far.
The government is concerned about the rise in infections over the past 10 days in Santiago, and last week imposed new, strict self-isolation measures in three densely populated areas.
The Chilean government responded quickly to the first cases of Covid-19 on March 3, introducing a commander’s hour nationwide and in selective quarantine areas with high infection rates.
As part of the social distance measures, educational institutions and companies were closed, as well as the movement of public transport was restricted.