In the past 24 hours ending 9 p.m. Tuesday, 4,328 new cases of infection were detected and 35 more patients died, while 33,540 people have recovered from the disease since the outbreak began.
With cases still on the rise, Health Minister Jaime Manalich announced lockdown measures in the capital Santiago and the metropolitan area, home to 7 million residents, will be extended beyond the May 29 deadline.
“The reality (of the outbreak) is much more powerful than any simulation,” Manalich said at a press conference, dismissing early predictions on how the virus would spread.
Since early this year, the government has been preparing for “the worst case scenario,” which would be 100,000 cases of infection and potential carriers of the virus at the same time, he added.
Manalich also chided Chileans for failing to practice social distancing.
“We are maintaining a level of mobility and of contact with others, and failing to wash our hands and to use face masks, which is evident. Many television channels have documented it and it puts us in a high-risk situation of an increase in cases and the extension of lockdown measures,” said the health minister.