Record of 1,141 cases in 1 day made Argentine president consider returning to strict quarantine that lasted 80 days
After a strict 80-day quarantine, the Argentine government cleared Buenos Aires streets and parks on Monday evening for outdoor activities. The scenes of crowded crowds and without masks made President Alberto Fernández write in alarm to Mayor Horacio Larreta Rodriguez saying: "This is wrong, it cannot continue".
The Argentine government's fear is with the surge in the number of coronavirus cases: the neighboring country registered on Thursday 11 more a daily record of notified infections, with 1,226 in the last 24 hours, which increased the total since the beginning of the pandemic. to 25,987. According to the Ministry of Health report, 735 people have died so far covid-19 in Argentine territory, 18 of them in the last 24 hours. The focus of the pandemic remains the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (Amba), with a total of 12,487 cases.
Of the 25,987 infections that occurred in Argentina, 3.8% were imported, 41% were caused by close contacts with people previously infected, 38.3% were the result of community circulation and 16.9% are under epidemiological investigation. So far, 7,991 discharges have been granted, 30.7% of the total number of detected cases.
The increase in the number of cases occurs amid the reopening of provinces. In view of the speed of contagion, the president is already contemplating triggering the return to phase 1 of the quarantine, that is, to the stricter block, linked to the pace of the spread of the virus.
Schools remain closed, as are sporting or cultural events. Commercial flights will not resume until September 1st. But there was permission to resume physical activities at night and to clear some streets and parks. That process irritated Fernández.
"If I say that they can stroll through a square, they go out to run and fill the square. The question is whether the solution is to open more squares. If I do that, I am inviting more people to run," said President Alberto Fernández in an interview with Radio Miter.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Argentine government has tried to flatten the curve of cases in the country, so it imposed a severe quarantine, with only essential services, which started on March 20 and is scheduled to end on the 28th.
Despite having been extended once, the Argentine government decided to relax the blockades in order to reach phase 5, to live with the pandemic. There are two types of blockages in force: the most rigid, with a ban on movement and social isolation, in regions that concentrate more cases. This is the case in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires - which includes the capital and 13 districts - which concentrate 85% of the cases. The other blockade, in provinces with fewer cases, provides only for social distance.
Unlike Brazil, in Argentina, states are called "provinces" and have specific ministers. The Minister of Health of the province of Buenos Aires, Daniel Gollán, warned on Thursday about the risks of ending the mandatory quarantine.
He agrees with Fernández that, with the increase in contamination cases, the most prudent thing would be to increase the restrictions and move back the phase in the gradual opening, which has been done for two weeks. In this way, the region would move phase 3 ( 50% of people are allowed to move) to phase 2 ( only 25% of people can move).
"If the quarantine is lifted, in 15 or 20 days we will begin to see images of New York, Manaus, Italy or Spain, with corpses piled up in cold rooms or in the homes of the elderly," said Gollán.
"You need to go backwards in the phase. We are on the ascending part of the curve. When the cases start to double, the curve must be flattened. Now, we must implement containment measures that reduce the number of infections," said the deputy minister, Nicolás Kreplak, in arguing that in the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, only workers in essential services should be allowed to leave home.
Pandemic advances in Latin America
The coronavirus pandemic has surpassed new levels in Latin America: almost 1.5 million people are infected in the region that extends Mexico to Tierra del Fuego, passing through the Caribbean islands, and 71,104 died. Brazil has the highest number of deaths, about 40 thousand, the third most affected country in the world.
Mexico, the second Latin American country with the most deaths in the pandemic, surpassed 15,000 deaths for a population of 120 million inhabitants. In addition, it registered on Wednesday 10 its greatest number of contagions in 24 hours: 4,833, bringing the total number of infections to 129,184.
Peru, with a population of 33 million people, comes next, with 5,903 fatalities and 208,823 cases. In Chile, cases are also multiplying, as well as in Panama and Costa Rica, especially on the border with Nicaragua, Haiti and Suriname.
The climate will complicate the situation on the continent. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the beginning of the southern winter will increase the incidence of respiratory diseases in South America. The intense hurricane season in the coming months in the Atlantic, which mobilizes emergency teams, will also complicate the response to pandemic in North and Central America, especially the Caribbean, said PAHO Director Carissa Etienne on Tuesday.