Chilean Health Minister admits that “the level of poverty and overcrowding, of which I was unaware” affected the expansion of the Covid-19

The Minister of Health, Jaime Mañalich, recognized this day that there is a sector of Santiago in which “there is a level of poverty and overcrowding of which I was not aware”. His words were given while explaining the contagiousness of Covid-19 in the country in the morning Mucho Gusto de Mega.

“What is the contagiousness? In one sector of Santiago it is this and in another sector of Santiago, which is our quarantine drama at the moment, in another sector of Santiago, where there is a level of poverty and overcrowding, forgive me for saying so with this one… of which I was not aware of the magnitude,” he said.

You visit places, but when you go in now, after not having gone in two years to a place in any commune and you say, ‘here lived 10 people in this house and now there are 100 people living here,'” he added.

In that sense he said that “I do not have social statistics, but what I mean is that it becomes very difficult, and the rate of contagion therefore increases, to make a social isolation in the circumstances, sorry to divide, of Santiago Poniente.

On the evolution of cases in the capital, Mañalich said that “the behavior of the Región Metropolitana was totally unexpected and was misleading. Why? Because when the outbreak in the RM started it seemed like another outbreak, higher, because there are more people, it began to stabilize in the east of the capital. And suddenly, after a month of tranquility we had this (a spike). I attribute it first of all to the fact that the measures of searching for cases and following up on each of the cases in their contacts became practically impossible. And secondly, the general measures, quarantine for example, to be complied with in more vulnerable sectors, is much more difficult than we thought.

That is why Mañalich said it is “crucial” to reinforce the transfer of people to health residences in order to avoid contagion.

“And in that context, it seems to me that the strategy today of strengthening surveillance, but also taking people who are cases or who are in close contact with a case, from their place of residence to a residence is crucial, absolutely crucial. Because that person, let’s not ask for the impossible, one can ask that they be responsible, but if that person does not have anything to eat, we have to take them somewhere”.

When asked if the quarantine had been decreed earlier, Mañalich said he did not believe it, “because in fact the quarantine, and we all understand it well, is an extreme measure that produces misery, poverty, hunger, and people, as the days go by, we are seeing it, as a health measure they are exhausted.

If you are interested in knowing more about Chile, I will be writing about the demonstrations and the internal conflicts that are taking place in the new section ‘That experiment called Chile‘.