In the face of the outbreak of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) emerged a few months ago in China and currently categorized by the World Health Organization as a global pandemic, the Ministry of Health formed a committee of experts to form the Council of The Covid-19 Advisory Council of the Ministry of Health, which will guide decisions in public policies that will need to be made to address the next phases of this pandemic.

This Advisory Council is made up of four scientists from the Advanced Chronic Diseases Center (ACCDIS): Catterina Ferreccio, Deputy Director of ACCDIS, physician specializing in epidemiology and professor at the Pontifical School of Medicine at the Catholic University; Johanna Acevedo, Head of the Minsal Department of Epidemiology; Gonzalo Valdivia, surgeon and head of the public health and family medicine division of the Catholic University's School of Medicine and Rafael araos, medical infectologist and researcher at the Millennium Core MICROB-R.

They also make up the Council, Ximena Aguilera, President of the Chilean Society of Public Health, Director of the Center for Epidemiology and Health Policy of the Faculty of Medicine of the Development University, Surgeon, public health specialist; Maria Teresa Valenzuela, surgeon and Vice-Dean Dean of Research at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Los Andes; Pablo Vial, medical surgeon with a specialty in pediatrics. Since 1999 he has been Director of the Hantavirus Program and a member of the Board of Directors of the Child Health Foundation in Alabama, United States and Fernando Otaiza, Head of Health Care Infection Control at Minsal and since 1983 has been the head of the National Infection Prevention and Control Program.

"The contribution of the experts of the Advanced Chronic Diseases Center in the Covid-19 Advisory Council of the Ministry of Health, strengthens once again our commitment as scientists to the country's society and public policies", emphasized Dr.. Sergio Lavandero, Director of ACCDIS.

Current agreements

According to the last meeting held on Sunday, March 15, Covid-19 Advisory Council, foreigners who have not been resident in Chile who have been in countries at high risk of transmission, they won't be able to enter the country. While Chileans and resident foreigners, coming from these countries, must enter a 14-day supervised quarantine.

On the other hand, they also called for detecting and controlling confirmed cases with symptoms, taking into account the following measures: give universal free screening, isolating all confirmed cases with symptoms in hospital compounds, even though they're mild; strengthen infection prevention measures for health workers and promote the development of diagnostic examinations by universities and flu vaccination days in children.

In the story of communication, The Minsal Covid-19 Advisory Council proposed massive communication campaigns on the prevention of the virus, focused on the general community, health professionals in the public and private system and all levels of education.

In addition, pointed out that responsible bodies should report the epidemiological situation on a daily basis, address measures to be constantly implemented and reinforced the meaning of "quarantine".

With regard to social distance measures, experts agreed that it is necessary to reduce crowds and to encourage higher education institutions to implement non-in-person education modalities.

However, the Covid-19 Advisory Council of the Ministry of Health reported, recommendations will be periodically reassessed as the epidemiological scenario evolves.