President Sebastián Piñera made a new public appearance on Sunday night to answer questions and refer to the criticisms that have been made to his management and the management of the Government in the face of the crisis of Covid-19 coronavirus, the pandemic that adds 2,139 cases confirmed and that he has left seven people dead up to the minute across the country.
In an interview with CNN Chile, the Mandate departed by mentioning the requested total quarantine, an option that until now is not shuffled in the Executive’s strategy. In line with what is pointed out this morning by Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, Piñera said that there is no fixed day to decree total quarantine because there are «several criteria», and the measure has only been taken in the communes where the contagions exceed a threshold.
«There is no figure, we will decree quarantine in all places that are necessary, according to what science says, the World Health Organization and seeing the example of countries ahead of us,» said the head of state, reiterating that they should be analyzed various aspects before determining such a measure.
Piñera took advantage of the television space to respond to mayors who are calling for total quarantine, noting that in the Government they have heard the voice of the ediles «carefully» and that they need their cooperation to overcome this crisis. However, after the call to unity, he referred to the case involving the mayor of Maipú Cathy Barriga this morning.
«Unfortunately, we have a problem and that is that many mayors have not understood that municipal campaigns have been postponed,» Piñera said.
«To say that the person died of coronavirus, being that it was not true, does a lot of damage, but I want to tell the mayors, the councillors and all my compatriots: here is not enough with the government, we need the coloration of all,» added the head of state in reference to what happened.
Asked by the site made by the mayor of Puente Alto, Germán Codina, who has said that the results of the COVID-19 exams arrive a week late to his commune, Piñera said that «there are mayors who complain about everything» and defended himself with the fact that have taken approximately 28 thousand tests.
«Chile is one of the countries that is ahead in terms of testing,» said the Mandate, adding that «no country was prepared to face the worst health pandemic of the last century, and therefore what I ask of all mayors is to help solve problems, not to enlarg problems.»
The peak will be between April and May
Sebastián Piñera played it with a forecast and estimated that the peak of the pandemic in the country, based on China’s example, will be in late April and early May.
«During this peak we have to be prepared,» Piñera said, reiterating that the Government has taken even advance action against the coronavirus.
«On February 8th we set health alert, hired staff, more beds, masks, respirators and we are making every effort,» he added.
Riesco Space costs less than an MP
The announcement of a field hospital with more than 800 beds to contain the crisis caused by Covid-19 coronavirus should be good news, however, it was not well received by the public. The news generated the repudiation of social media from where they criticized that, unlike China who built a hospital in 10 days, in Chile opted for the lease of a private place: Espacio Riesco.
Faced with the questions, and after the precinct went out to clarify some doubts, Piñera assured that a price was made in the low range, according to the law. Anyway, he said, «The cost of Space I risk per month is less than what a parliamentarian costs our country per month.»
The Mandate focused on the importance of the lease of the enclosure and that many places are being enabled to deal with the virus. In that sense, he warned that it cannot be anywhere to care for the sick.
«It has to have conditions, weather, it has to have food service, transport, energy. Space Riesco is having 200 beds and we will reach 800 beds or more,» Piñera defended.
Opinion of the Directorate of Labour
The Mandate also referred to the controversial opinion of the Directorate of Labour. In that regard, he said that «the Directorate of Labour did all it did was enforce the law. This same opinion has been made many times in cases of force majeure in the governments that preceded us, the Concertation, the New Majority.»
However, he explained that’s why they sent «a bill to Congress that states that when the employment relationship is suspended, people who cannot work, do not run out of income, but have all the income and benefits that the unemployment.»
Called to save SMEs
Piñera focused on health, securing supply, saving jobs, incomes and, consequently, small and medium-sized enterprises in the country, for whom the Mandate committed a series of aid.
«The state is making a plan of economic impetus and protection that we disclosed, which accounts for 5% of GDP; it’s the largest protection project in history for SMEs to survive,» he said.
In this regard, Piñera referred to the idea of some companies being nationalized to safeguard the economy. «For no reason,» the Mandate said, calling «not to use a health crisis like coronavirus to try to impose ideologies.»
«My concern is the health of Chileans, that there is supply of goods, we want to protect the jobs and income of workers. The priority of ours is workers, income and SMEs,» the President concluded.