This 83-year-old British tourist who caused the first quarantine in Chile after being diagnosed with COVID-19 has apologised to local residents after being taken off a ventilator.
The tourist, who has not been named in reports, caused the town of Caleta Tortel in the southern Chilean region of Aysen del General Carlos Ibanez del Campo to be quarantined after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
The man had been on the Silver Explorer cruise ship in mid-March when it docked in the town and he began to suffer from COVID-19 symptoms.
He said: “The day before I did not feel so bad, but in the night, it was worse, it was terrible. I started with a serious cough and my lungs did not have a good time, I also had a high fever and that is how everything started.
“I do not remember a lot. We went to Ushuaia, we were sailing through different areas, enjoying it.”
He said that before arriving in Chile he had been to London Heathrow airport, the Spanish capital Madrid and the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, being in close contact with thousands of people.
He was taken to the Indisa Clinic 40 days ago and he spent 20 days connected to a ventilator.
The British citizen remains in hospital but told local media “now I am much better, thanks for your concern. I have been tested twice and both were negative, so I am free of coronavirus”.
Speaking about the town being isolated for 14 days in Chile’s first quarantine after his diagnosis, he said: “I want to tell you that I am so sorry for this huge quarantine. Everything was a coincidence and I had no idea this was going to happen.
“The cruise crew decided to get me out of there. To everybody, I am sorry for having involved all of you in the middle of this terrible disease.”
It is unclear when he will be discharged from hospital.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Chile has registered 11,296 cases of COVID-19, and 160 deaths.
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