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Argentina Coronavirus News Roundup: April 1st

Daily Updates of COVID-19 in Argentina

By | [email protected] | April 1, 2020 11:21pm

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New cases of coronavirus registered today: 79

Total number of cases in Argentina: 1133

Total deaths so far: 33

Coronavirus Mortality Count Rising in Argentina (Infobae) 

  • The death rate rose to 33 on Wednesday, after the deaths of the Chilean consul in Rosario, a woman from Ituzaingo, and a rabbi from Buenos Aires
  • The fifth death registered was of a 78-year-old man from Neuquén, who recently travelled to Europe, having admitted to hiding his symptoms when boarding the plane back to Argentina 

Doctors Call for Greater Protections Amid Recent Fatalities (The Buenos Aires Times) 

  • The Association of Municipal Doctors (AMM) arranged an emergency meeting on Wednesday with the Buenos Aires City Health Minister, Fernán Quirós, following the deaths of two doctors in Chaco and La Rioja the day before.
  • Doctors demanded basic protective equipment from the government and greater flexibility in safety protocols to allow for adjustment based on changing necessity 
  • In addition, the AMM stressed the the urgent need to address the gap in insurance coverage for medical workers which lacks specification around the context of the current pandemic — highlighting that these requests should take priority over the proposed financial incentive (of 30,000 pesos) to reward medical providers for their service 

Minister of Education Meets with Private School Educators to Discuss Concerns (La Nación)

  • On Wednesday, Education minister Nicolas Trotta met with various private school administrators around Argentina via videoconference to discuss financial concerns over operations during the coronavirus pandemic 
  • Though no concrete proposals were released following the meeting, Trotta encouraged a number of modifications of payment systems while emphasizing the government’s commitment to guarantee the right to education for all students  

Government Will Continue with Financial Negotiations Despite Coronavirus Pandemic (The Buenos Aires Times) 

  • In a press conference on Wednesday, the Economic Minister, Martín Guzmán, announced that the government will proceed with debt discussions with bondholders and the IMF despite the economic disruption of COVID-19
  • Guzmán stated that discussions with bondholders, in which the Argentine government is hoping to renegotiate USD $69 billion in overseas debt, will continue during this week and the coming week, with the government hoping to present an offer following their conclusion 

Ambitious Plans to Develop “Vaca Muerta” Shale Region Postponed (The Buenos Aires Times) 

  • Despite the release of ambitious plans to develop Argentina’s “Vaca Muerta” Shale Region by the head of Argentina’s state-run oil driller just three weeks ago, all activities related to this project are now postponed to an unspecified date
  • The economic impact of COVID-19, in combination with a current price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world’s largest oil producers, has pushed the price of oil down to less than US $25 per barrel — less than half of the expected selling price the plan was originally based upon 
  • Ignacio Rooney, an upstream oil analyst in Buenos Aires, emphasized that any continuation with the proposal relies on a stabilization of oil barrel prices above USD $30 in coming weeks

La OPS Warns that the Window to Combat Coronavirus in Argentina is Narrowing (Infobae)

  • On Wednesday, the Pan American Health Organization in Argentina warned that if the country does not suppress the spread of the Coronavirus soon, it may face a similar fate as nations with worse outbreaks, such as the United States and much of Europe
  • Carissa F. Etienne, the Director of the PAHO also encouraged cooperation between Latin American nations, emphasizing that this was necessary to slow the spread of the virus 
  • Etienne encouraged strong steps to to prepare hospitals and health centers to brace for an influx of COVID-19 patients who will require greater “hospital space, beds, health professionals and medical equipment”

Recent Report Highlights that the Chinese Government Concealed the Death Rate from COVID-19 in Wuhan (Infobae)

  • A report published Wednesday highlights that the Chinese government likely concealed that the actual mortality rate in Wuhan was more 40,000, though the official number remains at 2,553
  • The information is based on a new report from US intelligence officials and release of information from funeral homes in Wuhan, which reported that more than 40,000 urns were delivered during the outbreak in the city