The Argentine President announced this Thursday the return to confinement to contain the second wave that makes Argentina the country with the most daily deaths per million inhabitants.
The measure will extend from May 22 to 30, inclusive. “After those nine days, activities will resume as they are today [Thursday] in effect [with curfew between 8 pm and 6 am]. On the weekend of June 5 and 6, restrictions will return ”, announced Alberto Fernández, from the presidential residence, on the national radio and television network.
During the announcement, the President avoided using the words “confinement” or “quarantine”, aware of the trauma in Argentine society that, during 2020, lived 233 days in what was called the longest quarantine in the world.
“I am aware that these restrictions create difficulties”, admitted Alberto Fernández, warning that “Argentina is experiencing the worst moment since the pandemic began”.
“We have the largest number of cases and deaths. The problem is very serious in Argentina. We are in record of contagions and deaths. The problem is not limited to a certain part of the territory. It is very serious and evident across the country, ”he warned.
Argentina has become the country with the most daily deaths per million inhabitants, according to cross-data from the “Our World In Data” portal, at the University of Oxford. There are 16.46 deaths per million inhabitants while Brazil, for example, has 11.82 deaths per million.
On Tuesday, the country had 745 deaths, proportionally, just behind India, Brazil and the United States. In number of contagions, even though it is one of the least testing countries, Argentina was second only to India and Brazil.
The authorities announced 35,884 cases and 435 deaths from covid-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total infected to 3,447,044 and the death toll to 72,669.
Argentina is the fourth country with the most deaths in South America, behind only Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
As of Saturday, all social, economic, educational, religious and sporting activities will be suspended. Only essential businesses and home deliveries will operate.
“This collective effort will help us to get through these cold months, reducing contagions and deaths,” explained Fernández, indicating the risk of a collapse in the health system.
On the national average, 72.6% of intensive care beds are occupied. In the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, the average rises to 76.4%. However, in some districts, the collapse is already a reality.
“There are cities and provinces that today have their health system on the edge, with public hospitals and private clinics on the verge of not being able to provide an answer,” admitted the President, calling on people to comply with the measures.
“I will insist: it is crucial that the local authorities strictly apply the rules. There is no room for speculation and there is no time for doubt. As for the population, I ask you to become aware of the seriousness of the moment, ”he asked.
The pleading request has a social logic. After the quarantine of eight months last year, there is a collective tiredness in a devastated economy. The Argentine economy contracted 10% and the accumulated inflation in the first four months of the year reaches 17.6% and the annual one reaches 60%. The poverty registered in the last quarter of 2020 was 45%, with a tendency to increase.
In view of this situation, on Tuesday, the President ruled out returning to the confinement that, 48 hours later, he adopted.
“I will not go back [to confinement]. I would have a sociological problem. People cannot resist. That is the truth, ”said Alberto Fernández, before changing his mind.
Source: with Agencies