Coronavirus in Chile

Two Ministers in Chilean Government Test Positive For Covid-19

SANTIAGO – After Minister of Public Works Alfredo Moreno announced on Monday, May 25, that he tested positive for the coronavirus, a second member of Sebastián Piñera’s administration announced today that he had contracted the virus, too. Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet said he has been in quarantine since he started to experience mild symptoms during the weekend. According to spokeswoman Karla Rubilar last week, the government does everything to assure the president does not get infected.

Two ministers have announced this week they were infected by the coronavirus. After Public Works Minister Alfredo Moreno tweeted on Monday, May 25, that he would quarantine himself after testing positive, the Energy Ministry announced on Tuesday, May 26, that its minister Juan Carlos Jobet also tested positive after presenting mild symptoms. Both ministries reiterated that the lawmakers have not met with President Sebastián Piñera or other cabinet members in recent days.

The coronavirus is not only hitting the government. To date, at least four members of Congress have tested positive for Covid-19: Jorge Pizarro (DC), Manuel José Ossandón, José García Ruminot, and Marcela Rabat (the latter three all RN). Rabat and Ossandón had contracted the virus while being guests on a television show. Later, two presenters of the show, among them the well-known journalist Monserrat Álvarez, tested positive as well.

Román Zelaya, the undersecretary of Fisheries, previously announced that he tested positive, as well as the regional authority for Education in the Metropolitan region and the regional authority for Health in the Valparaíso region.

In the first weeks of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Chile, the health authority for the La Araucanía region Katia Guzmán tested positive. However, she decided to hide her diagnosis and continue working, causing an outbreak in her region that hit journalists present at her presser and presumably also the governor of the region, Víctor Manoli.

Last week, government spokeswoman Karla Rubilar spoke about the increasing number of positive-testing authorities in Chile. She said the main concern of the Chilean government is assuring that President Piñera avoids infection. With two ministers testing positive in two days, that mission has just become more difficult.

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