The Chilean Ministry of Health announced this weekend that, in order to control the spread in Chilean territory of the Sars-CoV-2 variant identified for the first time in Manaus, passengers arriving from Brazil, whether Chilean or foreigners, must be isolated in a sanitary hotel, pay for himself with all the expenses.
In addition to those arriving from Brazil, anyone who has been in the country in the past 14 days must also stay in a sanitary hotel for at least 72 hours. Daily hotel rates, travel costs and re-examination must be paid by the passenger himself before taking the flight to Santiago.
“All travelers entering the country from Brazil or who have been in Brazil in the last 14 days will go to a sanitary residence. If the PCR is negative, they will end the quarantine at their home. sanitary hotel, they must stay at least, for 72 hours and then end the isolation of 10 days at home, ”explained the Under-Secretary of Health, Paula Daza.
The measure will take effect from next Thursday (25) indefinitely, depending on the evolution of the health situation in Chile.
On the brink of collapse
The new requirement is intended to discourage travel to and from Brazil at a time when Chile is breaking daily records for new Covid-19 cases and its healthcare system is on the verge of collapse.
In the past 24 hours, for the first time, Chile has exceeded seven thousand cases. There were 7,084 new contagions, above the record 6,938 cases recorded on June 14, the peak of the first wave. In 24 hours, 93 people died.
Active cases reach 37,048 including 2,227 in intensive care units. There are only 198 beds left for critically ill patients in the country. The intensive care unit occupancy rate is 95%.
A total of 24 municipalities, including the capital Santiago, were completely blocked this weekend.
Despite the critical situation in Chile, the country keeps all borders open, without any foreigner being subject to access restrictions, regardless of the country of origin.
Contains Brazilian variant
So far, all passengers arriving from all over the world need a negative PCR test done up to 72 hours before the flight. Upon landing in Santiago, the only qualified airway, passengers must take a new test and wait for the result at home.
From the next 25, all those arriving from Brazil, even if they have a negative examination, will be sent to a compulsory health facility for 72 hours, during which the authorities will try to detect the presence of the Brazilian variant. For all other passengers arriving from other countries, the mandatory 10-day quarantine can be carried out at home.
“All travelers who test positive within the first 14 days of entering Chile must self-quarantine at a health hotel and all travelers who exhibit one or two symptoms of the disease must also go to a health resort. health hotel until, thanks to a PCR examination, the contagion is thrown away, ”added Paula Daza.
In the sanitary hotel, control over each passenger promises to be greater. So far, household quarantines have not been strictly inspected, leaving the system dependent on individual honesty.
“The restrictions weren’t always enforced because there is no inspection. This is one of the problems we have: people do not comply with what would be desirable and there is no no proper inspection. It’s the people themselves who have to send information about how they smell, but they can lie and lie. The problem is that there is now a fairly aggressive Brazilian variant, ”explained to RFI infectologist Claudia Cortés, vice-president of the Chilean Society of Infectology.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Chile has recorded 925,089 contagions and 22,180 deaths.