By Merco Press
Argentina decided to prolong the quarantine linked to the COVID-19 pandemic until 28 June in the areas most affected by the coronavirus, President Alberto Fernandez said on Thursday. The president made the announcement next to Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta and Axel Kicillof, governor of Buenos Aires province, which concentrates 40% of the country's population, and most virus cases.
The country introduced restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic on March 20 and several times prolonged them totaling this week 78 days of quarantine.
“We are going to maintain the mandatory preventive social isolation in the areas where the virus is circulating,” the president said late Thursday. The list of territories which will remain under strict isolation restrictions includes the capital, Buenos Aires and the adjoining metropolitan area of the province of Buenos Aires, plus the provinces of Chaco, Cordoba, Chubut and Rio Negro.
However in the remaining 18 territories of the country isolation will be replaced by “preventive social distancing”, allowing the free circulation of people and social meetings of up to ten persons, but always under the strict social distancing and face mask requirements.
The lifting of the quarantine without including the Buenos Aires city and province, is because the doubling of contagion cases has reached 43,8 days.
“People can circulate, work and involve in other activities as long as they keep a two meters distance. All activities to be resumed must reorganize in a way they comply with social distancing, that is shops and industries must guarantee the social distancing”.
Contrary to previous extensions, Fernandez also justified the relaxation on economic reasons. “We are taking this step to help the economy restart and at the same time begin a return to normal activity”, adding that the government will continue aiding companies and families, to the tune of 2,6% of Argentina's GDP.
“We will continue to support to overcome the situation, we have done it and we will continue. We have ahead the second Family Support Plan payment benefitting 9 million people while the business support plan privileges mainly small and medium size companies”.
Despite the extension of the quarantine, in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, small steps are planned. The City of Buenos Aires will allow weekend days for outing with children, and the reopening of small clothing and shoe wear shops in neighborhoods. Something similar will apply in the Buenos Aires province but on request from the mayors of the different towns.
“Let me be clear, we must understand that we have not overcome the problem, even when in some places there are no more contagion cases. Contagion potentially increases as we come closer to the zone where the virus has dispersed freely”, underlined president Fernandez.
As has happened during the last eighty days, public and private events, cinemas, theaters, clubs, cultural centers and public transport, except for that staff considered essential and tourism activity, continue to be banned.
The three leaders made their presentation from a long table, with ample distance among them and before sitting down they rubbed their hands with alcohol gel.
Governor Kicillof revealed that 61 out of 124 towns in metropolitan Buenos Aires are practically back to normal, “with all activities”, since they have survived at least three weeks with no new coronavirus cases reported.
The official daily report on Friday indicated that Argentina has 20,197 Covid 19 cases and 608 deaths. In the last 24 hours the number of deaths increased by 25 and new positive cases, 929, most of them from metropolitan Buenos Aires.
The post about “Argentina extends quarantine to 28 June in metropolitan Buenos Aires" first appeared on the Merco Press website.
To engage in helping and supporting our Latin American community impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, seek or share information, events, news, forums, and critical connection and collaboration opportunities during this time of mass isolation, join our community at COVID-19 Support Group.
Not yet a member? Get connected and be inspired by more incredible Latin American and Australian professionals. Join the growing Somos21 Community.