The Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, announced this Friday the extension of the preventive and compulsory social isolation that culminated next Sunday for two more weeks, until April 26, in the large urban centers to “slow down the rate of contagion” of coronavirus, but it will be analyzed to relax restrictions in some areas in particular.
“We are going to extend the quarantine until April 26. We are going to continue exactly the same in big cities and large urban centers, there relaxation is impossible,” said Fernández at a press conference at the presidential residence in the Buenos Aires town of Olivos, on the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires.
Argentina has been in mandatory quarantine since March 20 and so far has registered 1,975 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 82 died, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health.
The president stressed that the objective of extending the quarantine period is “to slow down the rate of contagion” of coronaviruses and “to ensure that the health system can respond to those who become infected and need medical attention.”
FLEXIBILIZATION OF THE QUARANTINE IN SPECIFIC VILLAGES AND ACTIVITIES
As of the new presidential decree that will be published this Saturday to extend the mandatory social isolation until April 26, they will only join the activities except to quarantine the banks, the mechanical workshops and the rubber shops -to repair the vehicles of the authorized essential task workers.
The president clarified that as of Saturday the provincial governors will be able to present proposals to relax the restrictions in towns or regions where there are no cases of COVID-19 and are not linked to areas of higher risk, after which the national government will analyze “where you can focus the opening of the quarantine” after discussing it with the specialists.
“In this second phase of the quarantine we are going to focus on places and activities where the quarantine can be released in some way. Many governors have raised the situation of very isolated, very rural towns that do not register cases of infection and it makes no sense to have them isolated We have to listen to the cases of communities that can continue to function without connecting with others and what activities can be resumed, “said Fernández.
Most of the COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the country’s large urban centers, among them the cities of Buenos Aires and the populous urban cord that surrounds it, Córdoba, Rosario, Santa Fe, Mendoza, San Miguel de Tucumán and some towns in the province of Entre Ríos, according to the president.
On the other hand, it is also evaluated to allow the departure of accompanied disabled people.
This is the second time that the Government has decided to extend the mandatory social isolation that has been in force since March 20, amid increasing pressure from the productive sectors and provincial governments to make the quarantine more flexible and allow the return of activity.
The Argentine economy has been in recession for two years, with high levels of inflation and more than a third of the population in poverty, and analysts agree in warning that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will further deepen the crisis. .
“In the dilemma between the economy and the people, I chose for the people. An economy without people is nothingness itself”, Fernández had argued earlier this Saturday before the Puebla Group his decision to prolong the quarantine.
The president guaranteed that there will be a “present state” and new assistance measures will be evaluated for all sectors and to control the rise in prices: “We will continue working so that no one is short of food.”
DO NOT RELAX EFFORTS
The director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned on Friday that a hasty lifting of quarantines and other restrictions imposed by the coronavirus may lead to a “deadly resurgence” of cases.
Fernández noted that the strict restrictions in force in the South American country managed to “flatten the curve” of infections from the first case detected in early March.
“According to initial projections, today we should have had 45,000 cases,” said the president, who nevertheless called on the population to “not relax” because “no one knows when this martyrdom will end” and it is “very far” from having achieved the achievement of fighting this disease.
Using graphs and statistics, the President compared the data from Argentina with that of Brazil, Chile, Spain, the United States and Italy to explain the “meaning” of the total and compulsory quarantine: “If in fact there had been 45,000 cases, I do not want to think how many dead would have fallen on the road and are lives that we save among all. “
“We are very far from having reached the goal, let’s continue fulfilling the quarantine, that nobody becomes complacent in front of these data because they can change immediately. As soon as we see that this is not fulfilled, we will be forced to go backwards. I want every step that we take is a social agreement to do what the health authority recommends, “said the president.