Chile registers new daily record of COVID-19 deaths, cases

Chile registered its worst daily figures for covonavirus fatalities on Friday, with 222 deaths and more than 6,700 new infections in the previous 24-hours, authorities said.

“The situation in our country continues to rise, above all in the metropolitan region,” health ministry official Arturo Zuniga said.

Infections have risen steadily in the South American copper giant despite the capital Santiago and its seven million people being placed on lockdown four weeks ago.

On Friday, the government also put the cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar under mandatory quarantine, along with nearby rural towns.

The quarantine orders mean that nearly half of Chile’s 18 million population is under strict confinement.

Chile had registered more than 160,000 infections early Friday, with a total 2,870 deaths.

Health officials said the emergency services were operating at maximum capacity to contain the virus.

Zuniga said 1,391 patients were on ventilators Friday, with 373 of them in critical condition.

“We have the possibility to continue increasing our mechanical ventilator capacity, according to patients’ requirements,” said Zuniga.

“Purchases that we have committed to will continue coming.” (AFP)