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News > Chile

Chile Debates Delay of Elections Over COVID-19 Upsurge

  • Citizens walk down a street in Santiago, Chile, 2021.

    Citizens walk down a street in Santiago, Chile, 2021. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 16 March 2021

Despite the progress of its national vaccination campaign, this South American country is registering over 5,000 new cases per day.

Former Health Minister Jaime Mañalich on Monday urged Chile's President Sebastian Piñera to postpone the regional elections scheduled for April 10 and 11 due to the COVID-19 cases upsurge.


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"The government has no control over the pandemic. We should postpone the elections of mayors, councilors, governors, and lawmakers," Mañalich said.

In the last 24 hours, health authorities reported 5,117 new cases and ordered strict quarantine in 28 communities in the country.

"The people could not go to the polls for fear of contagion. The lives of our citizens and the legitimacy of the Chilean electoral process are at stake," he added.

The Medical Association also assured Piñera must take radical decisions to protect the Chilean citizens and warned that 95 percent of the Intensive Care Units (ICU) are already occupied. 

Piñera, however, has ruled out postponing the elections. "I hope the people will comply with the health measures, which will be the same ones applied during the National Plebiscite on October 25, 2020," he said.

Despite the progress of the national vaccination campaign, Chile is amid the second wave of COVID-19 with over 5,000 new cases per day.

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