translated from Spanish: Public Space Report Questions Effectiveness of Selective Quarantines in MRI: “The trajectory in number of cases has worsened”

The Government has defended its strategy of selective quarantines, which from 22 hours on Friday will be extended to 25 communes in the Metropolitan Region, and more than 4 million inhabitants.
However, the decision of the authorities raises serious doubts in entities such as Public Space, an entity that in a new report questions the effectiveness of this strategy in the case of MRI. This, because the trajectory in terms of the number of Cases of Covid-19 has worsened, approaching the level of European countries. According to the report prepared by Camila Arroyo, Eduardo Engel, Diego Pardow and Pablo Simonetti, the quarantines defended by Health Minister Jaime Mañalich took effect in regions, “because the application of the measure was mostly done by cities (with the exception of the commune of San Pedro de la Paz in the great Conception), defining as a limit its urban radio. This is how the organic behavior of each of them was respected and their citizens faced with a common epic of confinement.”
Instead, they point out, “in the case of Santiago, one might wonder whether it was not the wrong strategy,” especially taking into account the “risk of collapse” in the Metropolitan Health System planned for the coming weeks.
“By now, 85% of santiago’s inhabitants have been quarantined at some point, while 71% will be quarantined from tonight. In this universe, only four communes have not been quarantined at any stage: Huechuraba, La Reina, Pudahuel and Maipú. Given this way, would it not have been more effective to have quarantined the entire city at the end of March, understanding it as a single social body, when there was a commitment necessary for people to comply with the measures and the virus had a much lower circulation than it does now (938 total cases in the region as of March 27 vs. 11,218 new cases in the last two weeks)” Designates.
In the view of the researchers, “such a strategy would have reduced the transfer of the virus from the neighborhoods of the upper part of the city to the neighborhoods of the lower area, which have higher population density, greater health and socioeconomic vulnerability, and increased need for the use of mass urban transport.”
According to the study center, “our track record in number of cases has worsened (…) bringing Chile closer to European countries, already surpassing Portugal, at the equivalent moment of the epidemic.”
In any case, they admit that “Chile is well below the global average for deaths per covid-19 per million inhabitants”, as well as for people entering the ICU.” In Europe there was talk of a 50-50 chance of dying once a person was connected to a fan, meanwhile in Chile that figure is well below those levels. The big test will be to observe the behavior of the mortality rate if the health system reaches its saturation point,” they add.
Communities threatened
In this context, researchers wonder whether it would be appropriate to establish a city-wide quarantine. The response would be positive, considering that in the 9 communes that will not be quarantined, the incidence rate of new cases in the last two weeks is growing.

In conclusion, they argue that “because selective quarantines are less effective at containing contagions, they end up being longer if the same reduction in the spread of the epidemic is to be achieved. In this way, people end up spending more time in quarantine with selective quarantines, without a positive effect in return. That is why it is no coincidence that Chile is one of the few countries that has implemented this strategy.”

Original source in Spanish

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