Graphic: Death Toll from Coronavirus Crosses 1,000 Mark
As the number of coronavirus-related deaths continues to rise, the Buenos Aires metropolitan area gets ready to go back to a strict, mandatory lockdown. President Alberto Fernández, Buenos Aires mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Buenos Aires governor Axel Kicillof were meeting at the Olivos presidential residence, finalizing the details of the new phase of the quarantine, scheduled to begin this Monday.
By Wednesday evening, Argentina’s Health ministry was reporting a total 1,116 deaths from covid-19 and a total of 49,838 detected cases in the country since Argentines began getting tested in March. With the large majority of cases (90%) taking place in the Buenos Aires metro area, local media is reporting that the President is expected to address the nation on Friday afternoon to announce that both the City and the Buenos Aires province will be reimposing stronger restrictions on public transportation while businesses and other activities will be forced to shut down again and even exercising outdoors will no longer be allowed.
The goal is to keep the number of infections under control as fears of hospitals being overwhelmed by patients in need of intensive care grow.
According to local media, only essential workers will be once again prioritized, although Rodríguez Larreta has allegedly said he will continue to allow children to leave their home for a walk with one parent during the weekends. Unlike in March, banks are expected to remain open during the new, extended lockdown.
The challenged for Fernández, Rodríguez Larreta and Kicillof will be to convince residents in the BA metro area to go back to a stricter lockdown, when many seem to be growing impatient with a lockdown that began in mid-March and is nowhere close to being over.