SANTIAGO, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chile has administered over 4 million PCR tests for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), making it first in Latin America for tests administered, Health Minister Enrique Paris said Thursday.
Paris stated that 20 percent of the national population has been tested, "so Chile closely follows countries such as New Zealand, Sweden, and the Netherlands," with a rate of 207,000 PCR tests per million inhabitants.
"It is a record that places us among the first countries in the world," said the minister, thanking "the work of laboratory workers, biochemists, medical technologists, and all the people who work in laboratories in the public and private systems, universities, and companies."
According to the Ministry of Health, in the last 24 hours, 31,734 more tests were administered, bringing the total to 4,005,923 tests carried out nationwide since the virus was first detected in the country in March.
Additionally, 1,495 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the last day, bringing the total number of infections to 497,131.
According to the Department of Statistics and Health Information, another 73 deaths were registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 13,792.
Currently, 759 people are hospitalized in intensive care units, with 93 in critical condition.