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Chilean govt says protests may cause potential spike in COVID-19 cases

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-10-20 09:58
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SANTIAGO - Chilean Health Minister Enrique Paris on Monday said demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of social unrest on Sunday might cause potential spike in novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.

"If in 14 days we have a coronavirus outbreak in Santiago, those who called for a demonstration, and did not worry about health, will be responsible for that outbreak," Paris said at a press conference.

"Yesterday we really saw scenes totally counter to what it means to maintain physical distance, maintain health standards, avoid infection," said Paris.

Demonstrations in the capital gathered some 25,000 protesters, according to figures from the national police force.

Meanwhile, Deputy Health Minister Paula Daza announced further relaxation of lockdown measures in parts of the country, including allowing interior seating at restaurants and cafes to 50 percent of capacity.

The Ministry of Health reported 1,545 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total caseload to 493,305, and 41 more deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 13,676.

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