• Jun Park

Chile : In conflict with the WHO over "Sanitary Passports"

Chile has been touted globally as one of the countries that has some of the best statistics in response to the pandemic. As numbers have now shown, the infection rate of Covid-19 has been under control and the sanitary services have been able to comply with the heightened demand for Critical Care. As it has been discussed and announced weeks ago, Chile's ministry of health has decided to issue a form of sanitary passport to identify those who have had gone through the infection, quarantine, and recovery.

Here is where the WHO is in conflict. According to the report on BBC News, the WHO has indicated that there was "no evidence" that people who had developed antibodies after recovering from the virus were protected against a second infection.

Governments should not issue "immunity passports" or "risk free certificates" as way of easing lockdowns.

World Health Organization

This is consistent with the reports that have been coming out of countries such as South Korea were people who have gone through the entire disease are again testing positive, and at a constantly increasing rate.

More importantly, the WHO warns that the immunity passport would give a false sense of security which could increase the rate of infection as governments start to relax quarantine and social distancing measures.

At this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guaranteee the accuracy of an 'immunity passport' or 'risk-free certificate'.

World Health Organization

Chile's current numbers from a statistical standpoint, and throughout the process Chile has been in line with the World Health Organizations. This is the first decision that Chile would be going directly against a recommendation of the WHO.

The WHO has warned that unless there is evidence of antibodies maintaining immunity, this measure could lead to an accelerated growth of infections.