An 83-year-old woman has became Chile’s first victim of the coronavirus pandemic, health authorities said Saturday.
Health Minister Jaime Manalich earlier in the day said that 103 new cases had been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total to over 500.
In Latin America, only Brazil has registered more cases.
Of Chile’s cases, 33 have been hospitalized and 359 are in the capital Santiago, Manalich said.
While the government has advised people to stay indoors, no official quarantine measures have been announced.
Even so, the streets of Santiago have been largely deserted, and the now traditional Friday evening anti-government protests that began in October have attracted few demonstrators.
However seaside resorts in central Chile, around 100 kilometers from Santiago, have been full of people, causing concern among authorities.
Some local mayors have closed their towns to outsiders.
On Wednesday, President Sebastian Pinera declared a “state of catastrophe,” and the next day Congress voted to delay from April to October a referendum on changing the country’s dictatorship-era constitution.
Earlier this week Pinera closed Chile’s borders to foreigners.