Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Wednesday presented a bill that aims to protect 1.2 million independent workers in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pinera said, “This insurance will be about solidarity and will protect with greater intensity the lowest-income workers and those who have had the greatest decreases in their income”.
The insurance will aid workers who have issued receipts in at least four of the last 12 months or in at least eight of the last 24 months, and the amount received will be calculated based on the decrease in the income of each beneficiary due to the health emergency.
Pinera added that when the insurance is fully operational, it will benefit around two million workers.
The proposal seeks to complement the measures already announced by the government and to generate protection for formal, informal, independent, and unemployed workers.
It also includes disbursement of emergency income for up to 4.5 million people, as well as the “COVID-19 Bond”, which has already begun payments to more than 2.7 million Chileans.
According to the Health Minister Jaime Manalich, in the South American nation would begin issuing certificates early next week to any person who has finished a mandatory quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus on a standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
“Once the respective quarantine is completed, we will provide…a release certificate, but we will not make any pronouncement with respect to immunity,” Manalich said.
Manalich earlier this week said a patient who had contracted the disease was immune for “a minimum of three months,” contradicting guidance from the World Health Organization, which says there is no evidence for such claims.
Chile has been widely praised for its approach to combating the coronavirus, including widespread testing, flexible region-specific quarantines and quick action to secure additional ventilators for its hospitals.
The country has confirmed nearly 15,000 cases of the viral infection and 216 related deaths since the outbreak began there in early March.
(With inputs from agency)