SANTIAGO — May and June were tough months for Chile as Covid-19 cases increased. Two weeks into the transition phase, the districts of Ñuñoa and La Reina have seen a spike in cases. A report by Fundación Ciencia y Vida says that the pandemic is once again spreading in the country.
As the number of daily cases dropped, many cities and districts moved into a transition phase, ending restrictions such as mandatory lockdowns. On Jul. 28, seven districts in the Metropolitan region entered this phase and two weeks later, cases have started to rise again.
A report by Fundación Ciencia y Vida looked into the spread of infections and concluded that the pandemic in Chile is “once again in expansion.” The report shows that the district of Ñuñoa doubled the transmissibility rate in just one week. This was determined by studying the reproduction number (R0) and how it has varied in the past couple of weeks.
Once More, R0 Is Rising
Essentially the reproduction number indicates how many people a spreader can pass the virus on to. So, if R0 is 3.1, that means that one person is likely to infect, on average, 3.1 others. A pandemic is considered to be under control when the R0 number remains below 1.
La Reina and Ñuñoa, both in the Metropolitan region, currently have an R0 higher than 1. The latter doubled its transmissibility ratio in just one week, after mobility restrictions were lifted. Two weeks ago Ñuñoa had an R0 of 1.2 and on Aug. 7, it reached a peak of 2.4.
The report by Fundación Ciencia y Vida says that R0 is once more experiencing a rise throughout the country. 14 days ago, the R0 in the country was 1.02 and in just one week, it rose to 1.09.
Other Districts Experiencing a Hike In Cases
The 41st Epidemiological Report of the epidemiology department, released on Aug. 9, showed that the number of cases in the district of Puente Alto jumped 35 percent in two weeks, despite the quarantine measures in place.
The report by the Health Ministry showed the figures for the district of Cerro Navia also rose by 50 percent in 12 days, while La Pintana district saw a rise of 31 percent. Both districts remain in quarantine.
Tomás Pérez-Acle, who is with the foundation, said that districts like Lo Barnechea and Las Condes, which made the transition phase two weeks ago, are doing better, “but we are also seeing a rise in the number of active cases.”
Edited by Claudio Moraga
Fernanda Gándara is currently finishing her journalism degree at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She’s passionate about writing, environmental issues and women empowerment. You can find her on Twitter as @FerGMarchant