Chile reports lowest daily Covid infections since November
Santiago, Jul 19 (EFE).- Chile on Monday reported 1,015 newly confirmed Covid-19 cases, the lowest daily figure since last November, at the same time that patients being treated in intensive care units fell to below 2,000 for the first time in four months.
“The incidence of confirmed cases over 7 days totals 81 cases per 100,000 inhabitants,” Chilean Health Minister Enrique Paris said.
The total number of infections since the start of the pandemic in Chile stands at 1.6 million cases, with 34,539 deaths, after 24 more fatalities were registered over the past 24 hours.
The national positivity rate – that is, the number of positive Covid-19 tests per 100,000 PCR tests administered – was below 3 percent (i.e. at 2.9 percent, specifically) for the second consecutive day after more than 30,600 tests were administered.
The national positivity rate has been below 5 percent for the past two weeks, that threshold being established by the World Health Organization as what is needed to control the pandemic.
The number of patients in ICU units stood at 1,991 and the number of active cases of Covid-19 in Chile stood at 11,575, according to the latest figures.
“Covid patients are 56 percent of the total number of patients in intensive care units, a reduction in admissions of 65 percent from the 243 (registered) in April to 74 as the moving average for July,” Paris added.
Given the favorable epidemiological situation, since last Thursday the country has eased restrictions and is providing better circumstances for allowing people to get vaccinated, now offering the shots in gymnasiums, theaters and elderly adult centers.
In the Santiago metro zone, where eight million of Chile’s 19 million citizens live and which was the pandemic’s local epicenter for months, starting this week the weekend quarantine that has prevailed for months will be lifted.
Chile has undertaken one of the world’s most successful anti-Covid vaccination programs, immunizing more than 85 percent of the population with at least one dose and almost 11.6 million people with two doses, most of them having received Coronavac and with lesser numbers receiving the Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Cansino vaccines.
The country, which is maintaining an overnight curfew and has closed its borders since July 25, is examining whether or not to administer a third vaccine dose to people to prevent renewed outbreaks, especially after the arrival of the highly transmissible Delta variant in Chile, where about 20 cases have been reported so far.