COVID-19 cases on the rise in 10 regions of Chile

SANTIAGO, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) — Ten regions of Chile have seen an increase in novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, while another six reported a decline in the number of cases, the Ministry of Health reported on Saturday.

Authorities have expressed concern over the current trend, which projects between 3,000 and 9,000 daily cases of the disease in January.

“This worries us deeply and that is why we are taking stricter measures in relation to the advance of the pandemic in the Metropolitan region and at the national level, in some specific regions,” said Health Minister Enrique Paris at a press conference.

A total of 1,807 new cases of COVID-19 were registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number to 569,781, and 64 more deaths were reported, pushing the death toll to 15,846.

According to the ministry, 651 people are currently hospitalized in intensive care units, including 472 on ventilators and 61 in critical condition.

According to health authorities, intensive care unit (ICU) occupation is currently at 35 percent, though officials fear this could drastically increase during the second wave.

The Santiago Metropolitan Area continues to be one of the most affected regions in the country, and for this reason, the region, with more than 7 million inhabitants, will revert to weekend confinement and they will be unable to travel outside the region.

Despite the uptick in cases, the country’s borders remain open, with a single entrance through the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago, with the hopes that tourism will resume.

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