SANTIAGO – Every day, Minister of Health Jaime Mañalich updates Chile on the latest numbers on the coronavirus outbreak in the country. New confirmed cases, the death toll and those in hospital: these numbers always grow. Yet, one positive detail of the daily reports is the increasing number of recovered patients. So, what are the criteria to register a patient as such?
According to the numbers from Apr. 13, Chile had 2,367 recovered Covid-19 patients. A number that gives hope. Nevertheless, the term ‘recovered’ is, according to health experts, up for discussion, as those who recover don’t receive a complete screening that unequivocally establishes they are free of the virus.
At the press point on Monday, Health Minister Jaime Mañalich explained more about the ministry’s ‘recovered’ criteria. According to the minister, ‘recovered’ means for the government that the patient can’t infect others anymore. “The probability that they will become infected again is practically zero,” the minister said. “The people might remain positive, but the virus is not infectious anymore.”
Patients with initially mild symptoms who complete a 14-day quarantine at home or in hospital, and don’t show any symptoms thereafter, are being registered as recovered. Patients with very mild symptoms can go home and count automatically as recovered after an additional 14 days. Patients from risk groups such as HIV- or cancer patients get registered as recovered after 28 days in quarantine.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.