The government reinforced measures to prevent the entry of cruise ships into Chile, through Arica, as a result of the health alert issued by the Ministry of Health, in view of the possible arrival of the coronavirus in the country.

This was reported by Mayor Roberto Erpel and the Health seremi, Beatriz Chávez, after the Silver Shadow cruise ship stopped in the Port of Arica, the tenth of the 2019-2020 season.

The ship entered site 4 of the port enclosure, coming from the city of Pisco, Peru, with 388 passengers and 295 crew members.

The authorities, accompanied by the general manager of Empresa Portuaria Arica, Rodrigo Pinto, verified, through the protocols applied by the Ministry of Health, that the ship was free of the disease, and took advantage of giving information in English about the “Coronavirus Action Plan” to its passengers, to know how to prevent and identify this scourge.

Mayor Roberto Erpel emphasized that there is no presence of agent 2019-nCoV in the country, but there is a health alert issued by the Ministry of Health, in order to be prepared for its possible arrival.

He also highlighted that “as a result of this alert issued by President Sebastián Piñera, preventive education and the detection network at the main border crossings in the region (Chacalluta, Chungará, Visviri), port and airport have been reinforced.

For her part, the Health seremi, Beatriz Chavez, pointed out that “our region, due to its bi-borders condition, is key. Arica is the country’s first northern gateway, so we must ensure strict compliance with health regulations.

She explained that among the main activities that we have developed, it is worth mentioning the reinforcement of the protocols with the health teams; an educational work with public officials of the border (Customs, PDI, Governor’s Office and SAG); and coordination with representatives of the Port of Arica and shipping agencies, in case of possible suspicious patients.

Likewise, the general manager of the EPA, Rodrigo Pinto, said that “it is very important that our authorities, together with the port, are coordinated to address the health alert that has been decreed in our country,” because “Arica, as we all know, is the point of entry, the first stopover for cruise ships in Chile.

The executive also explained that this coordination is even more important, because the city has doubled the number of its cruise ships during the current 2019-2020 season.