SANTIAGO, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Chile on Thursday reported a total of 57,581 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), with the number of deaths from the disease reaching 589.
According to the latest report from the Health Ministry, in the past 24 hours ending 9 p.m. Wednesday, authorities detected 3,964 new cases of infection and 45 more patients died, the most in a single day since the outbreak began in Chile.
Of the new cases, 3,538 displayed symptoms and 426 were asymptomatic, while 23,992 patients have recovered.
Chile is still working to increase the number of ventilators available, Health Minister Jaime Manalich, wearing a face mask, told reporters at an outdoor press conference.
"We have brought six new ventilators. In the next few days, four more, and next week, an additional 10 ventilators, and then 10 more the following week, to meet the needs of the region," said Manalich.
Manalich praised healthcare workers for their role in combating the pandemic, calling them "the new heroes."
"We are fighting against a terrible enemy that infiltrates our homes, impoverishes us, distances us from our loved ones, causes uncertainty (and) burdens our hospital networks and our public health officials, who also fall ill and also suffer," said Manalich.
"That is why today we want to take the opportunity to praise and thank them, as we see in them the new heroes," he said. A lockdown in the capital Santiago and surrounding regions, home to 7 million people, has been extended through May 29, Manalich added. Enditem