Tue, 17 May 2022

SANTIAGO, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chile recorded a 324 percent jump in COVID-19 infections in two weeks, driven by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.

Tests detected 7,533 new cases of infection in 24 hours, raising the total caseload to 1,893,115, while one more COVID-19 death in the same period pushed the death toll to 39,427.

The number of active patients has multiplied in the weeks since the first Omicron case was identified on Nov. 25, with 54,244 currently active cases.

In the last 24 hours, the national COVID-19 positivity rate was 11.44 percent, the highest since June 2, while in the Santiago Metropolitan Region it was 9.85 percent.

According to Chilean authorities, the new wave of COVID-19 infections has not led to an increase in severe cases or hospitalizations.

Amid the surge, the ministry announced a change in its COVID-19 strategy this week that will, among other things, focus on requiring private and public healthcare systems to promote vaccination among the unimmunized population.

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