Around 3.8 million people came out of quarantine on Tuesday in Santiago de Chile, where hospitals have been on the verge of collapse for weeks due to the pandemic of coronavirus covid-19, thus challenging the contagious Delta variant, whose arrival in the country was confirmed last week.
Just one day after the second case of this variant was detected in Chile In a student from Armenia, restaurants and non-essential shops reopened, ending the third total lockdown in the capital since the health crisis began.
A total of 24 capital neighborhoods left the total closure behind and 8 more municipalities will do so as of Thursday, date by which most of Santiago will have free mobility from Monday to Friday, although quarantine will continue to apply throughout the capital on weekends. of week.
From the Medical College of Chile they urged the authorities to take measures “proportional to the eventual severity of the arrival of the delta variant” and stated that lifting the measures quickly ensures that the virus “continues to circulate.”
“This variant is more contagious, it has a different form of affectation, initially it presents mild symptoms. We must be very attentive ”, said Patricio Meza, president of the association.
Some municipalities have been in total quarantine for almost 100 consecutive days, a confinement that was decreed by a second wave that worsened in March and put the hospital system on the ropes.
“We are already tired of the confinement. We all want to do things, quarantines affect, it is a psychological issue “Jorge Guerra, a resident of Santiago, told Efe.
FEAR OF THE DELTA VARIANT
The Delta variant, which according to the World Health Organization (WHO) has already been detected in more than 90 countries, has set off the alarms of authorities around the world due to its high contagion capacity.
On Chile, a country that has kept its borders closed since April except for essential travel, was intercepted last Thursday by a 43-year-old woman who traveled from the United States due to an emergency situation.
After the detection of the second case, a student who entered on June 17, the authorities explained that the passengers who were traveling on the plane are being contacted and the spread of the variant is being traced.
The Delta variant It was first detected in India last October and is becoming the dominant version of the disease worldwide, according to WHO.
Despite the fact that in the last week the number of new infected and the national positivity index have decreased, the occupancy rate of Intensive Care Units (ICU) is around 95% and hospital saturation has become the main challenge.
Patients infected with the coronavirus in serious condition they have not dropped below 3,000 for months and the health network today has only 274 critical beds available throughout the country.
In the last 24 hours, 2,648 new infections and 35 deaths were registered, which raises the total balance since the beginning of the pandemic by 1.55 million infections and 32,489 deaths.
The wave of infections occurs despite the fact that the country has deployed one of the most successful immunization processes against covid-19 in the world, which today reaches more than 80% of the target population with a dose (15.2 of the 19 million inhabitants).
With two doses, 68% of the target population has already been vaccinated, the majority, with the vaccine from the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, and to a lesser extent Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and CanSino.