Argentina’s social distancing extended until Aug 30

Workers disinfect houses in shantytowns in June, 2020, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. About 1 million Argentine households live in shantytowns, where social distancing is difficult. Photo: Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 16, 2020, Merco Press. Argentina extended until Aug 30 restrictions taken against the coronavirus, President Alberto Fernandez said on Friday, underlining that the country’s lockdown would continue in its current form in and around capital city Buenos Aires, Merco Press reported.

The quarantine defined as “preventive, mandatory social isolation” is more relaxed in less densely populated areas and had been scheduled to expire on Sunday. President Fernandez had admitted that the 160 plus days “quarantine no longer exists since people are circulating”.

Anyhow, “The only medicine we have found so far is to limit the movement of people and the face-to-face meeting of people as much as possible,” Fernandez said. “The plan worked and it is working, but the risk always exists.”

Argentina has had 282,437 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 5,527 have been fatal. Daily rate of infections is currently above 7,000. The country’s lockdown began on Mar 20.

As usual Fernandez made the announcement on a Friday from the Olivos presidential residence, next to Buenos Aires province governor Axel Kicillof and the mayor of Buenos Aires City, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, since the two official represent the so called AMBA, (Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires) which is the residence of almost half of the Argentine population.

“We keep talking about the quarantine and the fact is there is no quarantine in Argentina, because businesses are open, because people are circulating, and industrial activity is back close to 90%” insisted Fernández, remarking that “we must look after ourselves, it’s in our hands, social and personal responsibility. It does not depend from a political decision”

Fernandez insisted, “we are in a different time, the problem is different, and if we don’t look after ourselves, risks balloon, and even when we’ve managed to strengthen the health scheme”, the current number of coronavirus is of “great concern”.

More specifically the Argentine president pointed out that in the northern province of Jujuy there has been a serious outbreak of Covid 19, which included the governor Gerardo Morales. Likewise other areas that remain under strict isolation measures because of the sustained number of infections include Rio Gallegos in Santa Cruz province; Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego; Tartagal, Salta; La Rioja and Chamical in La Rioja provinces and the cities of Santiago del Ester and La Banda in the Santiago del Estero province.

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