The first case of COVID-19 in Chile was detected on March 3rd. Meanwhile, the local Government established a Constitutional state of exception (defined as ‘State of catastrophe’) on March 18th, combined with a curfew and economic/sanitary measures. More than a 100 days later, the control of this pandemic still seems out of sight.
Some Chilean figures related to this disease are genuinely concerning, such as the rate of confirmed cases per million people (> 15,000), total number of cases (279,393) and rate of deaths per million people (316). Most probably, these negative results represent a multifactorial issue (cultural, demographic, political, etc.). However, an inadequate public health system looks like a key factor together with a lack of resources.
In that sense, the aquaculture sector has shown a lot of solidarity during this pandemic. First, the salmon industry started providing access to PCR analyses in their facilities (over 5,000 daily tests). Then, they created through SalmonChile a solidarity fund of US$ 2.43 million intended to help hospitals and health centres in the southern regions, and later launched a health self-care educational campaign focused in its workers, their families and the communities where the industry operates.
All these initiatives have been followed by hundreds of donations from different individual companies (mainly, mussel farmers and processors, as well as fish farming suppliers) in the form of PPE for healthcare workers, and tonnes of fish and meals for people in need, for example.
In the meantime, the Chilean aquaculture sector keeps producing fish, strengthening every sanitary measure to avoid workers from being infected, while supplying healthy food for an entire planet in “pause mode”.
From Greetech Chile, we expect this strong commitment signs will eventually turn not only into improved reputation but also in a better relationship between this entire economic sector and the communities where Chilean fish is being farmed #StayHome #StaySafe