Images of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, walking along the beach without a mask, in breach of security protocols, generated controversy in Chile this Sunday and unleashed a wave of criticism that led the president to publicly apologize.
“Without a doubt, I should have put on a mask, but due to the speed with which the events occurred, I did not do it and it was a mistake. I’m sorry,” the president explained through his Instagram account.
In social networks and in various local media, images of the president were disseminated taking pictures with people who recognized him while he was walking along a beach in the Valparaíso region, 100 km from the capital, without wearing a mask or respecting the safety distance.
Last Thursday, health authorities announced the protocols to prevent the spread of covid-19 during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities and for the summer holidays, which begin in December in the southern hemisphere.
Among the indications of the Ministry of Health, there is the prohibition of removing the mask on the beaches except when bathing, in which case it can be removed keeping a minimum distance of two meters from the nearest visitor.
The president received criticism from numerous users through social networks and from various sectors of the opposition who criticized his conduct.
“The health authority must initiate a health investigation against Sebastián Piñera, just as it has done with more than 80 people this weekend for walking without masks. Equality before the law!”, Asserted the socialist deputy Juan Luis Castro.
Opposition deputy Miguel Crispi, for his part, commented via Twitter: “Please, don’t be like Piñera and wear a mask in public places. Not only for your own health, but for that of others. Let’s not lower the guard”.
With more than 560,000 cases and 15,628 deaths from SARS-CoV-2, Chile has since mid-September with positivity rates in PCR tests below 5% and figures for new daily infections and deaths from Covid-19 that remain unchanged. big ups and downs.
Despite this, the authorities have shown concern in recent weeks about a possible increase in cases after the arrival of the summer holidays and the festivities of December.
The president himself announced this week the extension of the state of emergency due to catastrophe for another three months, a measure that has been in force since last March and under which quarantines and curfews can be decreed.