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Jaime Mañalich admitted that “it becomes very difficult” to comply with social isolation in some areas of the metropolitan region.
The Chilean Minister of Health, Jaime Mañanlich, recognized in a live television program that “I had no conscience” of the levels of poverty and overcrowding that are experienced today in some areas of the metropolitan region of Santiago, capital of the country.
It was while speaking to two journalists about the scope of the coronavirus pandemic in Chile. There, the official admitted that the health actions taken by the Sebastián Piñera government run into serious inconveniences due to the socioeconomic reality, which increases the degree of “contagiousness” in some vulnerable neighborhoods.
“In a sector of Santiago there is a level of poverty and overcrowding, sorry to say so, of which I I was not aware of the magnitude it had. That is the truth, “said Mañalich.
Then he described what happens to him when visiting places “of any commune”, to which he had not returned in two years. “When you enter a place, you say ’10 people lived here before and now 100 are living'”, he claimed.
One of the interviewers then asked the minister if she believed that the degree of overcrowding had been aggravated in “a short time”, to which the official replied: “I do not have social statistics, but to make social isolation in the circumstances of western Santiago (west of the district) is very difficult. “
Mañalich himself reported on Thursday that 49 deaths from coronavirus were registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 890. Meanwhile, with 4,654 new cases in the last day, the number of people rose to 86,943 infected.
Coronavirus advances, protests return
The levels of poverty and inequality in the Andean country are not new. In fact, the Government of Sebastián Piñera has had to deal, since October last year, with a series of massive demonstrations that have as their axis denouncing the lack of access to essential goods and services population, indebtedness and low wages of the working class.
The political solution with which Piñera sought to appease social unrest was settled in an agreement with the opposition for a constitutional reform referendum, scheduled for April, but postponed by the pandemic.
Even so, and despite the confinement measures in force in the communes most affected by the coronavirus, citizens of various communes, mainly in the metropolitan area of Santiago, took to the streets to protest against hunger and joblessness, which has been aggravated since the beginning of the health crisis.