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Argentina Coronavirus News Roundup: April 6th

Daily Updates of COVID-19 in Argentina

By | [email protected] | April 6, 2020 10:29pm

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Every evening we at The Bubble pick a few stories in the Argentine media related to the coronavirus outbreak and write a quick summary so you have some idea of what’s happened.


New cases registered today: 74

Total number of cases in Argentina: 1628

Total deaths so far: 53


Government Postpones National Debt Payments Until End of the Year (The Buenos Aires Times)

  • Citing the coronavirus pandemic as a reason for the delay, the government announced on Tuesday that it would postpone almost US $10 billion dollars in debt payments under local law until the end of the year
  • The payments are part of a larger governmental effort to stabilize the national debt situation — which ultimately requires a restructuring of US $70 billion dollars worth of debt in foreign currency
  • However, some financial experts raised concerns that the decision could be understood by creditors as a “technical default” by Argentina in their payments  

Coronavirus Case Confirmed on Malvinas Islands (The Buenos Aires Times)

  • On Friday, government officials on the Malvinas Islands confirmed that a patient tested positive for coronavirus in a local hospital — the first known case of the virus on the islands
  • Though hospital officials on the island note that they have been preparing for the introduction of the virus to the islands housing 3,400 residents, the first case sparks fears of possible previous undetected transmission

Government Encourages Mask Use For All and Flu Vaccination for Elderly (Infobae)

  • Though stressing the importance of fully isolating indoors, on Monday, President Fernández emphasized that if citizens are permitted and must leave their homes, masks (or some form of mouth covering) should be worn
  • In addition, the government of Buenos Aires announced a plan to encourage vaccination for the “vulnerable population” over age 65 against the common flu
  • To avoid entrance into hospitals, the vaccinations will take place at schools, churches, community centers, and other cultural spaces near residential neighborhoods 
  • While the government highlighted that the vaccine will not protect from COVID-19, it stresses that catching a combination of the two viruses would be more difficult to treat and thus encourages preemptive protection

High Femicide Rate Reported During National Quarantine (The Buenos Aires Times)

  • Last week, a femicide observatory organization noted that there were 12 recorded femicides that occurred between March 20 and April 2nd, sparking renewed calls to address the issue during the national quarantine 
  • Acknowledging the increased vulnerability of women forced to remain indoors with abusive partners during the quarantine, the report warned of increased future violence within such conditions and urged measures to aid in protection 

Government Officials Meeting Tuesday to Discuss Steps to Restart Economic Activity (La Nación)

  • While, thus far, the Argentine government has taken a “day by day” approach to addressing the coronavirus pandemic in Argentina, government officials plan to meet Tuesday to discuss the necessary steps to begin reintroducing economic activity into daily life
  • The meeting will be attended by representatives of the CGT umbrella union (General Confederation of Labor), and the Minister of Labor, Minister of Production, and Minister of Health who are expected to advise the president on which industries to reintroduce initially 

Government Announces Gradual Exit From National Quarantine (The Buenos Aires Times)

  • On Friday, the government of Argentina confirmed that the upcoming exit from the national quarantine on April 12th will be gradual, rather than complete
  • Without providing extensive detail, the announcement implied that some restrictive measures will remain in place following the scheduled exit from quarantine, though has yet to further clarify what these measures will be 
  • In the announcement, the government did clarify an intent to ensure the increased security of vulnerable populations in the nation, especially those over age 65

Medical Adviser to President Fernández Encourages Greater Testing and Continued Quarantine Measures (La Nación) 

  • On Monday, Eduardo López, an infectologists advising President Fernández, warned that more testing is necessary prior to an easing of quarantine restrictions on Radio Continental
  • López noted that increased testing will reveal additional cases, but it required to better trace the spread of the virus — further emphasizing that Argentina should be testing at a rate closer to Chile, which issues about 1,000 tests per day compared to 500 in Argentina
  • As such, López argued that many restrictions must remain in place following the scheduled end to the national quarantine to ensure the safety of all people, especially those over age 65, by maintaining restrictions on any large gatherings in public 

Respirators Delivered to Hospitals Around Argentina (Ministry of Health) 

  • On Saturday, the Ministry of Health in Argentina announced an increase in delivery of respirators around the nation
  • The Ministry confirmed that 335 respirators have already been distributed, with 120 expected to be distributed weekly throughout April, increasing to 240 weekly in May
  • The announcement also included discussion of the government’s decision to centralize the distribution of respirators, claiming the aim of this measure was to provide greater equity to varying communities around the nation