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Argentina Coronavirus News Roundup: April 8th

Daily Updates of COVID-19 in Argentina

By | [email protected] | April 8, 2020 9:00pm

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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: 80

Total number of cases in Argentina: 1795

Total deaths so far: 65


 

President Fernández Emphasizes that Quarantine Remains in Effect and Urges Stricter Adherence (Infobae)

  • On Wednesday, President Fernández reiterated that the national quarantine is fully in effect through the end of the week, until the scheduled easing of restrictions on April 13th
  • In his address, the president noted the increase of citizens circulating beyond their homes — urging government officials to take stricter action to prevent this breach of quarantine rules 
  • Emphasizing his desire to protect the health and security of citizens, the President also pledged to maintain the distribution of food to vulnerable communities hit hard by the economic impact of the quarantine 

Economic Stimulus Fails to Aid Many Other Than Central Bank (The Buenos Aires Times)

  • The Productive Development Minister Matías Kulfas confirmed on Wednesday that the economic stimulus funding distributed to smaller commercial banks by the Central Bank of Argentina to aid in the economic hardships incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic have largely been redeposited into the Central Bank itself
  • Kulfas claims that many banks have been depositing the majority of their loans back into the central bank at zero percent interest, rather than lending the money to businesses around the country 

Government Confirms “Segmented” Reopening of Some Businesses on April 13th (The Buenos Aires Times)

  • On Tuesday night, the CAC secretary Natalio Grinman confirmed to Perfil that “some public works will return and also the manufacture of agricultural machinery. Shops will start opening as from next Monday in a gradual and segmented pattern”
  • The decision comes after businesses reported the threat of bankruptcy to President Fernández — urging an end to quarantine but the continuation of social distancing measures 
  • Though the government has yet to announce specific reopening plans for most industries, the Central Bank reported that it will be open to businesses starting next week through appointments made in advance and for general business, according to the last number of DNI identity cards

Vice President Kirchner Visits President Fernández to Discuss Economic Impact of COVID-19 (La Nación)

  • Concerned about the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Vice President Cristina Kirchner met with President Fernández on Tuesday to discuss economic plans and debt negotiation
  • It is reported that Cristina, who has made few public appearances since the beginning of the quarantine, expressed concern about the political consequences the economic collapse caused by continued quarantine will have on the country and the future of Peronist power

Government Officials Seek Apologies from Provincial Lawmakers Who Wore Masks Designated for Health Care Workers During Session (La Nación)

  • The deputy governor of Tucumán, Osvaldo Jaldo, called for lawmakers to apologize on Wednesday after masks designated for health care workers were worn by politicians during the legislative session
  • Following such critiques, lawmakers returned the masks to hospitals and apologized for the decision

Growing Concern in Brazil After Stark Increases in Death Rate and Case Totals (La Nación)

  • Despite a relaxed approach taken by government officials in past weeks, the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Brazil has led to a growing concern around the country 
  • As of Wednesday, the death rate in the country bordering Argentina passed 800, with 15,927 total cases confirmed, though officials believe the true statistics to be far higher
  • These totals are a result of the 133 new deaths and 2,200 new cases reported in the past 24 hours alone 
  • Despite the growing statistics, however, President Jair Bolsonaro continues to advocate for a relaxed approach to the virus, despite pleas for stricter measures from Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta

Governor Expresses Doubt over Government Ability to Pay Salaries in May (Infobae)

  • La Rioja governor Ricardo Quintela expressed concern on Wednesday about the government’s ability to pay public workers salaries in May, despite full payment during the month of April 
  • Citing the deferred payments of taxes, the governor explained that the drop in state revenue has resulted in a limited ability to distribute income payments in coming weeks 
  • However, despite this economic uncertainty, Governor Quintela said he supported the decision to maintain the national quarantine to ensure the safety of citizens throughout the nation 

Unionists Call for One-Time “Homeland Tax” on Wealthy to Aid Economic Hardship (The Buenos Aires Times)

  • On Wednesday, Unionists within the Frente de Todos coalition called for support for a bill to establish a one-time “Homeland Tax” on citizens with assets of more than $10 million pesos or qualify through a net-income of more than $50 million pesos yearly 
  • Unionist leader Hugo Yasky said it wouldn’t affect more than about 50 Argentines in the country who maintain this level of wealth
  • Though the government is not currently in support of the bill, officials are considering other tax measures on the assets of Argentina’s large economic groups, including corporations, banks, insurance companies, and supermarket chains to raise money