By Fabian Cambero

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile surpassed 53,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, with the virus registering a rapid advance in recent days after it spread from more affluent areas of the country to crowded, poorer areas.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 rose to 544, the health ministry reported in a press conference, while the total number of confirmed cases was 53,617.

A total of 4,038 fresh cases were registered between Tuesday and Wednesday, of which 391 were asymptomatic infections, the ministry said.

The world’s largest copper producer has seen an increase of 10,000 cases in the last four days.

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero, writing by Aislinn Laing; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)