Half of Chile’s 50-member Senate, as well as four ministers, have reportedly been placed in quarantine after coming into contact with colleagues infected with Coronavirus.
Parliamentary sources confirmed the news after Finance Minister Ignacio Briones and Chief of Staff Felipe Ward both announced on Twitter that they had tested negative for the virus but were in quarantine until a second test is conducted.
Briones said he was tested on Friday, due to his “regular contact with” infected senator Jorge Pizarro on the Senate finance committee, and has since begun “preventative quarantine.”
The ministers of the interior and social development are also in isolation.
At the end of last week, around 20 legislators began isolation after meeting with Pizarro and another infected senator, Rabindranath Quinteros at the senate meeting, parliamentary sources said.
Rabindranath Quinteros, who is the deputy Senate leader was said to have traveled to the south of Chile on Friday just before testing positive for the virus.
During a meeting at the senate last week, Quinteros was seen coughing and touching at least one microphone as he sat with four other senators.
Another senator, Manuel Jose Ossandon, confirmed on Monday that he also had tested positive.
This comes day after the government imposed a total lockdown on the capital Santiago, which has recorded more than 80 percent of the country’s 46,000 cases. 478 deaths have also been recorded as of Monday, May 18.