SANTIAGO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Wednesday urged the public to remain vigilant against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, despite reports of a drop in new cases in the country's current COVID-19 hotspot, the southern Magallanes region.
"Today we have had 55 new cases of infection in the region. It is the lowest number of infections since Aug. 19 and, therefore, the situation is improving. But we still have too high levels of infections, too high levels of positivity" in testing, Pinera said at a press conference after visiting the affected area.
"Even though we are improving, we cannot let our guard down because the region continues to have the highest (infection) rate ... in Chile," added Pinera.
The Ministry of Health said tests detected 1,152 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the caseload since the start of the outbreak to 495,637.
In the same period, 17 more patients died from the disease, pushing the death toll to 13,719 since the first case was announced on March 3.