Three weeks after taking office, the Minister of Health, Ximena Aguilera, announced this Wednesday at noon the relaxation of health restrictions against Covid-19, highlighting the elimination of the use of a mask and the requirement of the Mobility Pass as of October 1, all as part of the measures that will make up the so-called “Opening” phase of the Step-by-Step Plan.
Aguilera reported that regarding the use of masks, only their mandatory nature will remain. for any person who attends any type of consultation in a health establishment and for those who go to a center. In addition, it is recommended to maintain its use in people with respiratory symptoms; in visits to long-stay centers; and in collective, public and private transport.
The Secretary of State also stated that will discontinue the requirement of the Mobility Pass and capacity limitations are eliminated in open and closed spaces, but in the latter it is recommended to maintain cross ventilation.
Regarding vaccination, the Minsal will continue to actively promote inoculation in the population, especially in lagging groups. And the new bivalent vaccine (Covid-19) will be incorporated into the National Vaccination Program (PNI), aimed at risk groups as an annual strategy.
“Covid-19 is not going to go away, it will continue with us, therefore the vaccination campaign will include an annual vaccine for risk groups, just as it is done against influenza,” explained the head of the health portfolio.
As for tests, the Minsal reported that the PCR processing capabilities are maintained; that there will be availability of antigen tests in PHC with universal and free access; that access to antigen testing will be increased with the ‘antigen in three steps’ strategy; and that the active search for cases will be oriented according to local needs in areas prioritized by the regional health authority.
In this context, the undersecretary of Public Health added that “with these strategies we want to strengthen the possibility of testing. If a person presents symptoms, they can apply the test, self-report and isolate themselves in a timely manner.”
The insulation will also undergo modifications. A confirmed Covid-19 case, instead of complying with seven days of quarantine, now you will have to lock yourself up for five days from the onset of symptoms or from taking the test. The Healthcare Residences strategy will be maintained.
Likewise, regarding traceability, the identification of contacts of diagnosed cases will be in health establishments, as well as that the control of outbreaks will be prioritized by the health authority in high-risk establishments.
And the borders? The Alert Level 1 control measures associated with the Plan will be maintained. This means that there will be no travel restrictions, isolation will be carried out in accordance with the general health regulations for a confirmed case and, among other things, random testing will be maintained upon entering the country.
Another important announcement was the one reported by the Undersecretary of Healthcare Networks, Fernando Araos: “We will continue with the conversion of beds and critical beds and from October 1 the rehabilitation of people discharged from hospital with risk of sequel by Covid will be included in the GES. -19″.
Weeks ago, both authorities and experts suggested that it might be time to abandon some of the restrictions imposed to control the health crisis, since more than two years had passed since the arrival of Covid-19 in Chile and, furthermore, a large part of the population already has its primary scheme.
In this context, the head of the health portfolio and the Minister of the Interior, Carolina Tohá, chaired the Interministerial Committee for Pandemic Response this morning, an instance where they discussed the de-escalation of health measures and prepared the announcement that was made today at noon.