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Fri Mar 20, 2020, 06:55 PM

'You're not on holiday': Chile's Pinera under pressure to declare national quarantine over coronavir

MARCH 20, 2020 / 4:19 PM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO

Aislinn Laing

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean president Sebastian Pinera is under growing pressure to announce a national quarantine by opposition leaders, medical experts and local mayors, who have launched their own measures to try to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

A total of 56 mayors from central Chile on Friday wrote an open letter to Pinera declaring that since quarantine had proved to be the most effective way of containing the virus in other countries, Chile “must not delay” in following suit.

Some mayors have gone so far as to send municipal security vehicles to patrol neighbourhoods with loudspeakers urging people to report anyone with symptoms leaving their homes.

Fuad Chahin, the centrist Christian Democrat party president, said with Chile now at 434 known cases of the highly contagious respiratory illness since the start of the month, Pinera should follow neighbouring Argentina’s example with a “total and immediate quarantine.”


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