Chilean authorities announced on Sunday, May 3, that total quarantine measures will be imposed in several communes of Santiago Metropolitan region, including the capital itself, following a recent increase in confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Health authorities reported that the quarantine measures will begin as of Tuesday, May 5, from 22:00 (local time) in the Quilicura, Recoleta, and Cerillos communes, as well as the Santiago commune, the northern city of Antofagasta, and Mejillones commune. According to reports, the new measures, which will prohibit residents from leaving their homes except for essential movements such as for medical reasons, for accessing public services, and for paying bills for public services for which a permit will be required, comes after the government reopened some commercial streets in Santiago. On May 3, the Health Ministry reported 13 new COVID-19-associated fatalities, all in the metropolitan area.
Quarantine measures remain in place in several other communes in Santiago Metropolitan region including Independencia, Quinta Normal, Santiago Norte, Ñuñoa Norte, Estación Central, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, El Bosque, San Bernardo Nororiente, La Pintana, San Ramón and Puente Alto.
The country's borders remain closed to foreign travelers until further notice. The restrictions do not apply to Chilean nationals, and citizens and permanent residents are also still permitted to enter the country. The closure first came into effect on Wednesday, March 18, and does not apply to cargo and associated personnel.
The government announced a nationwide curfew on Sunday, March 22, between the hours of 22:00 and 05:00, which remains in place as of Monday, May 4. Road checks operated by security services may be active in some areas of Santiago. Additionally, a ban on public gatherings of more than 500 people remains in place.
The Ministry of Education announced on Wednesday, March 25, that school closures will be extended through the month of April, and while a precise date was not announced, schools are now expected to reopen in May.
As of May 4, there have been 20,643 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chile and 270 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
Copyright and Disclaimer