Coronavirus in Chile NATIONAL

From Checkpoints to Curfew: New Coronavirus Measures in Chile

SANTIAGO – As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across Chile, the government continues to amplify measures to halt its spread. As of this writing, the Metropolitan Region has 459 confirmed cases. The government’s primary plan is to contain the disease where it stands.

The government’s latest measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus began the morning of Monday, Mar. 23. Most are intended to contain the virus within the Metropolitan Region and to stop it from spreading to municipalities outside the region. For example, the armed forces are now enforcing the quarantine in the region’s communes of Providencia, Las Condes, and Vitacura—the ones with the most cases.

Nationwide, the measures also include “sanitary” checkpoints in between regions, and mandatory quarantine for any traveler entering the country, regardless of nationality or country of departure. This week, “quick testing” will also be available to diagnose asymptomatic people and notify them if they are carriers of the virus.

Harsher methods are also being taken to contain people in their homes. Starting Mar. 22, the armed forces started enforcing a curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The curfew law also prohibits people from traveling to second homes, especially those located in high density areas, and it states that everyone who has recently transferred to a second home will have to return to their primary living spaces before 10:00 p.m. on Mar. 24.

Lastly, people who don’t comply with the mandatory quarantine will be fined up to CLP$50 million (USD$58,288). In addition, those who can’t comply with the quarantine on their own, will be taken to a quarantine location.

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The Chilean Health System Cracks Under Pressure

Preventing The Spread To Other Regions

As of this writing, the Metropolitan Region has been the hardest hit, with 459 confirmed cases, nearly four times as many as the second hardest hit region, which is Ñuble, with just 81 cases. As a result of this, the more remote regions are isolating themselves.

For example, non-essential travel to Puerto Williams, Chillán, and the Chiloé archipelago are prohibited; and Easter Island is in complete quarantine, only allowing essential personnel to make sure the island is well stocked. Sanitary customs checkpoints are also being established at the seaports and airports in the Strait of Magellan.

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