Chile reduced the number of COVID-19 infections in the last two weeks by 18 percent, however experts are not ruling out an increase in infections due to the omicron variant.

Chilean experts warned of a stagnation in the decrease of infections in the last weeks, as well as the new variant’s transmission capacity, as 251 cases have been reported nationwide so far and there is community transmission in the Santiago Metropolitan Region, according to official data.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported 1,813 new COVID-19 infections and 33 more deaths from the disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,804,682 cases and 39,096 deaths.

However, the Mathematical Epidemiological Group for the Surveillance of Epidemics and Pandemics at the University of Santiago, Chile pointed out that the drop in COVID-19 cases “has been slower in recent weeks.”

“We are seeing an incidence rate of 6.3 (this week), which is very similar to the previous week,” group head Felipe Elorrieta said, adding that the figures “are not decreasing as before.”

The expert said that the Arica region was of most concern, since up to Sunday it had an average daily incidence rate of 17 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a 172.2 percent increase in seven days.

In the Santiago Metropolitan Region, the rate increased to 7.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which represented a “warning signal,” despite the fact that it had a low incidence rate, according to Elorrieta.