Chile doctors fear complacency over Covid-19 after initial successes

The country’s mortality rate from the disease is low but frontline staff say public hospitals are unprepared for rise in cases.

Chile has received early plaudits for its handling of the coronavirus crisis and boasts Latin America’s highest testing rate for the infection. But health workers on the frontline of the outbreak fear authorities are overestimating hospitals’ capacity to care for critically ill patients.

The country’s health minister, Jaime Mañalich, has praised Chile’s health system as “one of the best on the planet” and insisted that enough beds have been available for critical patients.

So far, Chile’s Covid-19 mortality rate is 0.95% – well below the global average of 4.7% – but medics warn that this figure is giving authorities a false sense of security.

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