Chile: Health Alert for COVID-19 Outbreak
On January 5, 20201, the Ministry of Health (“MINSAL” for its Spanish acronym) issued a nationwide health alert (“Health Alert“). This Health Alert allows the Chilean health authorities to exercise a series of extraordinary powers during one year2 in order to confront and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus 2019-NCOV, currently called SARS-CoV-2, which produces the COVID-19 disease3 4.
On the occasion of this Health Alert, the MINSAL has issued several exempted resolutions, by which it have established, among others, the following measures:
- People diagnosed with COVID-19 must be quarantined for 14 days, after diagnosed. However, this period may be extended if people has not fully recovered from the disease. Also, people already complying this measure must continue it for the remaining time5.
- People already tested for COVID-19 must be quarantined until they are notified with the Also, people already complying with this measure must continue it for the remaining time6.
- People who have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with Covid-19 must comply with isolation measures for 14 days7.
- People entering the country, no matter the country of origin, must comply with isolation measures for 14 days. Likewise, people already complying with this measure must continue it for the remaining time8.
- All inhabitants of the Republic must remain, as a measure of isolation, in their residences between 10 m. and 5 a.m. This measure shall be executed in accordance with the instructions given by the Chiefs of National Defense of the different regions. This measure came into force from 22:00 on 22 March 2020 and will be applied for an indefinite time, until the epidemiological conditions allow its suppression9.
- The following persons will be moved to places specially designated for isolation measures: (a) persons who have breached the quarantine measures imposed on them; and (b) persons who are unable to comply with the quarantine measures imposed on them10.
- The assistance of the public forces has been ordered, with the support of the Armed Forces, to carry out controls in the municipalities of Las Condes, Vitacura and Providencia that allow to identify those who are not complying with the health measures that have been ordered by the authority, especially the quarantine of people tested positive for COVID-1911.
- It is established that the inhabitants of the Republic must stay living in their usual private homes. Consequently, the movement of persons to places of residence other than their usual private homes is This measure will be indefinite, until the epidemiological conditions allow its suspension12.
- All Chilean ports for passenger cruises are prohibited from 15 March to 30 September 202013.
- The National Service for Minors must isolate its facilities, for 14 days from March
- Likewise, this public service must take the necessary sanitary measures to prevent the contagion of the minors under its care14.
- Classes are suspended in all kindergartens and schools in the country for a time of two weeks starting on 16 March 202015.
- Public events with more than 200 people are prohibited for a time of two weeks from March 16, 202016.
- Visits to nursing homes are prohibited for two weeks from 16 March 202017.
- All day care centers for the elderly in the whole country will be suspended for two weeks from 16 March 202018.
- All meetings of clubs and community unions of older adults in the country are suspended19.
- Gendarmería de Chile must take the necessary sanitary measures to avoid contamination of the prison population20.
- Mayors must provide additional influenza vaccination points to their health facilities21.
- Sanitary customs have been set in Arica and Parinacota, Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo, Aysén and Magallanes22.
- A 14-day quarantine was ordered in the commune of Easter Island23.
- Sanitary customs are established (a) at the entry points to the Carlos Ibáñez del Campo region, from the Los Lagos Region, (b) at the entry and exit points to Puerto Williams, and (c) at the entry and exit points to Chiloé Island24.
- The following facilities are closed: (a) cinemas, theatres and similar; (b) pubs, discos, cabarets, night clubs and similar; and (c) gyms open to the public. Also, restaurants are prohibited from serving the public and may only issue take-out food. This measure came into force at 00:00 on 21 March 2020 and will be applied for an indefinite time until epidemiological conditions permit its suppression25.
- Professional and amateur sports events are prohibited. This measure came into force at 00:00 on 21 March 2020 and will be applied for an indefinite time, until epidemiological conditions allow for its suppression26.
- The city of Puerto Williams will be quarantined from 00:00 on March 23, 2020, for an indefinite time, until epidemiological conditions allow for its suspension27.
- Sanitary customs are established at the crossing points of the Strait of Magallanes from 12:00 noon on March 23, 2020, for an indefinite time, until epidemiological conditions allow for its suspension28.
- A sanitary cordon is established around the communes of Chillán and Chillán Viejo from 08:00 hours on March 23, for an indefinite time, until the epidemiological conditions allow for its suspension29.
1 By MINSAL’s No. 4 (issued on 5 January 2020) and No. 6 (issued on 6 March 2020) decrees.
2 According to Article 10 of Decree No. 4 of the MINSAL: “The effects of this decree shall be in force for one year, without prejudice to the power to finish it early if health conditions permit or to extend it if they do not improve”.
3 According to Article 36 of the Health Code, which states: “When a part of the territory is threatened or invaded by an epidemic or a significant increase in a disease, or when emergencies occur that pose a serious risk to the health or life of the inhabitants, the President of the Republic may, following a report from the National Health Service, grant the Director-General extraordinary powers to prevent the spread of the disease or to deal with the emergency”.
4 Quote: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/naming- the-coronavirus-disease-(covid-2019)-and-the-virus-that-causes-it
5 Exempt Resolution No. 188 of the MINSAL (Official Gazette, 19 March 2020).
7 Exempt Resolution No. 180 of the MINSAL (Of. Gz. 17 March 2020).
8 Exempt Resolution No. 202 of the MINSAL (Of. Gz. 22 March 2020).
13 Exempt Resolution No. 183 of the MINSAL (Of. Gz. 18 March 2020).
15 Exempt Resolution No. 180 of the MINSAL (Of. Gz. 17 March 2020).
22 Exempt Resolution No. 194 of the MINSAL (Of. Gz. 20 March 2020)
24 Exempt Resolution No. 200 of the MINSAL (Of. Gz. 21 March 2020).
27 Exempt Resolution No. 202 of the MINSAL (Of. Gz. 22 March 2020).
MINSAL has indicated that failure to comply with the measures imposed by the authority will be monitored and punished in accordance with the Book X of the Health Code, as well as the provisions of the Criminal Code, when applicable.
MINSAL has also said that the measures provided for in these resolutions may be extended if the epidemiological conditions make this advisable.
Auhor: Gonzalo Jiménez firstname.lastname@example.org
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