Half of senate, four ministers in coronavirus quarantine

Despite a month and a half of preventative measures, including a selective lockdown imposed on Chile, around half of Chile’s 50-member senate and four ministers have been placed in quarantine for the dreaded coronavirus.

The senators came into contact with at least three colleagues infected with the novel coronavirus.

Only last week, Chile recorded a 60 percent spike in daily coronavirus cases and the government imposed a total lockdown on the capital Santiago, which has recorded more than 80 percent of the country’s 46,000 cases. There had also been 478 deaths as of Monday.

Finance Minister Ignacio Briones and Chief of Staff Felipe Ward both wrote on Twitter that they had tested negative for the virus but were in quarantine until a second test is conducted.

Briones said he was tested on Friday, due to his “regular contact with” infected senator Jorge Pizarro on the Senate finance committee, and has since begun “preventative quarantine.”

The ministers of the interior and social development are also in isolation.

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