Local workers clean the streets as a precautionary measure, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Vina del Mar, Chile [/Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters]

Antofagasta, Chile – Chilean president Sebastian Pinera declared a 90-day state of catastrophe Wednesday to address the spread of COVID-19 in the country, which has 238 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

“In these times of crisis, the health of all Chileans is at risk,” Pinera said Wednesday.

The measure, which will take effect at midnight, is “to prepare ourselves to properly confront the steps to come during this pandemic,” he said.

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Pinera did not detail specific measures to be implemented under the state of catastrophe, saying its primary purpose was on protecting and facilitating medical attention, supplies, transport and

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