Authorities announced on Monday, July 27, that the communes of Coquimbo, La Serena, and Puerto Montt will be placed under quarantine as of 22:00 (local time) on Wednesday, July 29. The announcement was made after health authorities registered a significant rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in those areas in the latest official reports.
As of Tuesday, July 28, dozens of communes in Chile remain under quarantine. Full details of what restrictions apply under the quarantine orders and which regions are affected can be found on the Chilean government's website. Under the quarantine measures, members of the public may only leave their homes to access basic or essential services, including medical services, or to access public services. Those doing so must have a permit.
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 still permitted to enter the country. The closure does not apply to freight operations and associated personnel.
As of July 28, there have been 347,923 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 9187 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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 COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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