Health Minister Jaime Mañalich announced that total quarantine measures will be expanded to other areas of the country from 22:00 (local time) on Friday, June 12, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. As of Friday, the following communes will be under quarantine:
- Curacaví (Melipilla province)
- Melipilla (Melipilla province)
- San José de Maipo (Cordillera province)
- Peñaflor (Talagante province)
- Tiltil (Chacabuco province)
- Pozo Almonte (Tamarugal province)
- Valparaíso (Valparaíso province)
- Viña del Mar (Valparaíso province)
Under quarantine measures, members of the public may only leave their homes to access basic services or medical reasons, or to access public services. Those doing so must have a permit. These measures are expected to continue through Friday, June 19. The government further clarified that all current quarantines will continue to remain in place. The decision comes following a recent increase in COVID-19 related fatalities. Further details of the measures in place can be found here.
On Wednesday, May 13, Chilean authorities announced a total lockdown of Santiago from Friday, May 15, following a resurgence COVID-19 cases. Manalich announced a general quarantine for the greater Santiago area in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Quarantine measures remain in place in Cerro Navia, Conchalí, La Granja, San Miguel, Lo Espejo, Macul, Lo Prado, Peñalolén, La Florida, Renca, San Joaquín, La Cisterna, Independencia, Quinta Normal, Estación Central, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, El Bosque, San Bernardo, 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.
As of Thursday, June 11, there have been 148,456 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chile and 2475 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.
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