Chile reports two more deaths from COVID-19 and a drop in infections in the capital



The Chilean health authorities reported on Thursday two more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total number to 18, and reported a drop in new infections in the capital, one of the main sources of the virus in the country and where half of the population is in mandatory quarantine.

In the last 24 hours, the total number of infected persons amounted to 3,404, after registering 373 new cases, and the patients admitted to intensive care reached 200, Chilean Minister Jaime Mañalich explained in his daily press conference.

"The current capacity of public and private mechanical fans is 1,229, of these there are 220 that are not being used and that are ready to be used if needed," he added.

The minister also indicated that Santiago "has a certain downward trend in new cases, which is good news," and expressed concern about the "significant" increase in the Ñuble region, 400 kilometers south of the capital.

The two people who died are two older adults with chronic diseases, one in the capital and the other in the La Araucanía region, in the center of the country and another of the new outbreaks of the disease.

"Chile is the country that is doing the most tests in Latin America per million inhabitants," insisted the official, who announced a mandatory quarantine in all nursing homes.

The southern country is under a state of emergency due to a catastrophe, with a curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. the following day, with classes suspended until May and with borders, shopping centers, cinemas, restaurants and shops that are not of primary necessity closed.

Experts hope that the peak of contagion will occur between the end of April and the beginning of May, which has forced the postponement of the historic constitutional plebiscite that was scheduled for April 26 and which was called to calm the serious social protests against inequality. that exploded last October.

The Chilean government has so far ruled out decreeing mandatory quarantine throughout the territory, as other neighboring countries have done with fewer cases such as Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.

The Executive's strategy goes through a "progressive quarantine" and to date includes six communes in Santiago de Chile, in addition to other areas of the country such as Chillán, Osorno, Puerto Williams, San Pedro de la Paz or Temuco, measures that affect almost 2 million people out of a total population of 18.

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