April 1, 2020 / 11:26 PM / 2 months ago

Chilean consul in Argentine grains hub Rosario dies from coronavirus

SANTIAGO/BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - A Chilean consul in the Argentine grains hub city of Rosario has died after being infected by the coronavirus, Chile’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, as the global pandemic spreads through South America.

The Chilean Foreign Ministry earlier this week said that diplomat Fernando Labra, who was in his sixties, had contracted COVID-19. He presented symptoms after returning from a trip to Chile, leading to his hospitalization and isolation in Argentina.

Labra, who had almost four decades of experience, “provided important services to our country, with his last destinations being the Consulates General in Buenos Aires and Rosario,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The health ministry of Argentine province Santa Fe said in a statement it had recorded its first death from COVID-19, of a Chilean in Rosario who had returned to the country in mid-March. It did not name the consul.

Argentina’s foreign minister, Felipe Sola, sent a message to his counterpart in Chile with the country’s “heartfelt condolences” over the death, the ministry said in a statement.

The country’s health ministry said late on Wednesday that confirmed cases had reached 1,133 with 32 fatalities, including a 66-year-old Chilean man in Santa Fe.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero in Santiago and Adam Jourdan in Buenos Aires; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler

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