Ten­sions rise as Ger­mans clamor to re­turn to Mal­lor­can homes

Kuwait Times - - Local -

SAN­TI­AGO: With near-de­serted streets and po­lice checks, the seven mil­lion peo­ple of Chile’s cap­i­tal, San­ti­ago, be­gan a strict quar­an­tine Satur­day af­ter a sharp resur­gence of coron­avirus cases. Nor­mal ac­tiv­ity in the cap­i­tal was down 85 per­cent, the gov­ern­ment said, as peo­ple were only al­lowed to leave their homes for es­sen­tial food and medicine and a short pe­riod of ex­er­cise.

“Blocks and blocks of the city are com­pletely empty and we can take it that this is a good start,” Health Min­is­ter Jaime Manalich told re­porters at San­ti­ago air­port af­ter a fly-over of the city. Long lines of cars caused grid­lock Fri­day even­ing as peo­ple streamed out of cap­i­tal for the coast, 100 kilo­me­ters (60 miles) away, hours be­fore the lock­down came into force at 10:00 pm (0200 GMT). The lock­down or­der, an­nounced by Manalich on Wed­nes­day and due to last at least a week, dealt a blow to ear­lier hopes the South Amer­i­can coun­try could re­open its econ­omy fol­low­ing ev­i­dence it had flat­tened the curve.

New in­fec­tions had re­duced to be­tween 350 and 500 a day in late May, lead­ing to the gov­ern­ment of con­ser­va­tive Pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Pin­era re­lax­ing some re­stric­tions, and al­low­ing busi­nesses and stores to re­open. How­ever, new cases have dou­bled in the past 10 days. Hav­ing re­mained be­low 1,000 a day last month, the daily av­er­age has shot up to well over 2,000 new in­fec­tions a day. The South Amer­i­can coun­try had 41,428 in­fec­tions by Satur­day, with 421 deaths - 27 of those fa­tal­i­ties com­ing in the pre­vi­ous 24 hours.

San­ti­ago has re­ported 80 per­cent of the coun­try’s cases, amid con­cern that the coun­try’s emer­gency ser­vices were al­ready op­er­at­ing near their limit. “We have kept the case fa­tal­ity rate close to 1 per­cent, but when we see a greater num­ber of peo­ple in­fected, ob­vi­ously the num­ber of deaths also in­crease,” said Ar­turo Zu­niga, a health min­istry of­fi­cial with re­spon­si­bil­ity for care net­works. Some pa­tients have been trans­ferred to a hospi­tal in the south­ern city of

Con­cep­cion to free up in­ten­sive-care beds in the cap­i­tal ahead of ex­pected in­creased de­mand in the com­ing weeks, au­thor­i­ties said.

San­ti­ago’s main av­enues were al­most en­tirely de­serted on Satur­day. Su­per­mar­kets and small neigh­bor­hood gro­cery stores re­main open, though the num­bers of peo­ple en­ter­ing was be­ing strictly lim­ited. Some peo­ple walked their dogs in the 30 min­utes avail­able for them to do so. Po­lice lim­ited ac­cess to the city’s main La Vega mar­ket which nor­mally draws large crowds on Satur­days. Po­lice and mil­i­tary also stepped up checks on drivers to ex­am­ine travel per­mits. — AFP

SAN­TI­AGO: Photo shows an aerial view of an empty road in San­ti­ago, amid manda­tory to­tal quar­an­tine due to the new coron­avirus pan­demic. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.