An Argentine supermarket measures fever for customers to prevent COVID-19

Without losing an iota of his education and serenity, Weng stands guard at the door of his supermarket in Buenos Aires to measure the temperature of all customers who enter with the intention of buying, a mandatory norm in times of coronavirus.

"I am taking every client that the temperature enters to prevent, it is for security," the Chinese merchant, owner of this establishment in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Villa Urquiza, assures Efe.


Every time someone enters the premises the same ritual is repeated. "Good morning, sorry to bother you," Weng begins, saying to all the customers who come through the door, who wait with a smile for the usual protocol to begin.

With his back straight and arms outstretched, the merchant lifts one of those peculiar pistol-shaped thermometers that measure body temperature almost instantly, points to the forehead of the person in question and waits for the beep to certify that, in effect, He has no fever.

"Okay, normal, thanks," Weng replies to all the people, old and young, who successfully undergo the test.

Inside the premises, precautions continue: all personnel appear dressed in latex masks and gloves, repeatedly disinfecting the ATM area with spray and thoroughly cleaning everything to limit the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.

Clients, some of them also with masks, take advantage of the occasion to stock up on basic supplies, especially toilet paper, and others that are somewhat more idle, such as wines and sugary drinks.

Outside the premises a regular print is repeated during the last days in Buenos Aires, with a long line of customers waiting for their turn to come and several posters that, in Spanish and Chinese, invite all preventive measures to be taken. .

"You have to limit the entry of customers so as not to gather many people within the premises," says Weng, reproducing the recommendations that have already been implemented by the vast majority of establishments in the Argentine capital.


Businesses like Weng's are one of the few that will be able to open their doors to the public while the "social, preventive and compulsory isolation" decreed this Thursday by the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The measure will run until March 31 and the government has already announced that it will be "absolutely inflexible" with those who violate the quarantine.

In addition to supermarkets, other "proximity" stores, such as pharmacies, hardware stores, and veterinary clinics, will open their doors for the duration of the isolation.

Among the other exceptions are, in turn, the high authorities of the national, provincial and local government, health and security and armed forces employees, journalists and those who work in the production of food, drugs and other activities such as the oil.

The Argentine Executive decreed this "exceptional" quarantine after establishing up to "30 measures" with which to contain the scope of the coronavirus, reported for the first time in the southern country on March 3 and which until now has infected 158 people and ended with the lives of four others.

Javier Castro Bugarín


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