July 12, 2020

Chile’s Codelco will not use the mining city’s airport due to a COVID-19 outbreak



The largest copper producer in the world, the Chilean state-owned Codelco, reported on Monday that it will stop using the El Loa airport, in the northern city of Calama, as a new measure to face the rise in COVID-19 infections presented by the mining city. .

In a statement, the company reported that workers in the Chuquicamata, Radomiro Tomic, Gabriela Mistral and Minister Hales divisions will begin to abide by the new standard as of the shift change on Wednesday July 1.

Likewise, the state company indicated that it will recommend contractor companies to implement the same measure, with the aim of further reducing the flow of entry and exit from the city through the air terminal.

“This is a transitory measure that will be permanently reviewed according to the background information provided by the authority,” the statement said.

Codelco’s Vice President of Northern Operations, Álvaro Aliaga, is quoted by the statement, where he says that “although we know that not all the flow from the airport is directly related to our operations, we have determined to stop using this transport route as a as we hope it will reduce people’s exposure and lead to more prevention. “

It should be remembered that according to the latest epidemiological report carried out by the Department of Statistics and Health Information (DEIS), as of June 27, the Antofagasta region, where the city of Calama is located, is the third in the country with the highest number of infections, accumulating 8,591 cases; 3,847 of them domiciled in the mining city.

“Indeed, in the Antofagasta region we have seen an increase in the number of cases (…) Particularly Calama has been one of the comunas (territorial administrative unit that encompasses a city or city sector) where we have seen the highest number of cases in the last days “, admitted this Monday the undersecretary of Public Health, Paula Daza, when she was consulted by the state of the city in the press conference after the daily report on coronavirus.

“On Wednesday (July 1) we will probably announce measures based on how the incidence has progressed, the number of new cases in order to take more effective measures,” said Daza.

It should be noted that Calama is not the only mining city that has seen an increase in the number of new COVID-19 infections. In the central part of the country, the city of Rancagua has also caught the attention of the media. The mining city also has 3,257 cases.

Currently, Chile has almost 276,000 cases of contagion accumulated to date, which maintains it as the seventh country worldwide and third in Latin America with the highest number of infected people. This, according to data from the American Johns Hopkins University.

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