Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Santiago
Taxi drivers wait for customers during a general quarantine amid the spread of COVID-19, at the domestic flights arrival area of Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, in Santiago, Chile, May 27, 2020.

Chile is aiming to expand its newly opened network of isolation residences for coronavirus patients as the nation struggles to meet the growing demand placed on the country's overwhelmed health care system.

President Sebastian Piñera said Wednesday that the Sanitary Network includes 66 spaces with more than 2,500 rooms, where patients have food, around-the-clock medical attention, internet access and television.

Piñera said they plan to double the capacity to be able to accommodate more patients because the public health service "is very close to its maximum capacity."

Chile’s emergency care and intensive care units in public hospitals are stretched to the limit by the rising number of COVID-19 patients.

Chile has confirmed more than 82,000 coronavirus cases, with more than 800 deaths.

The Pan-American Health Organization said this week that the Americas has become the new epicenter of the coronavirus, warning that the spike in deaths across Latin America can last into August. 

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