The increase in coronavirus cases in Argentina is a tangible fact. The outbreak is increasingly worrying the national government, which is currently studying what restrictive measures it can implement to stop the growth of infections. In the Casa Rosada they assume that some decision must be taken in the short term to try to stop the circulation of the virus and the entry of a new strain into the country. So far there are no cases of the strain detected in the UK.
Until the afternoon of this Tuesday, the Government planned extend on January 8 the administrative decision that keeps the borders closed for flights from the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and Denmark, countries where one of the new strains of COVID-19 had been detected. Meanwhile, it is studying the possibility of deepening the measure for more countries and suspending flights in the short term. The estimated date that returns for the offices of the Casa Rosada is January 15.
In the Ministry of Health, which leads Ginés González García, admit that the possibility of closing the borders “it is an option” what “Not defined yet”. In any case, the final decision will be made by the president. Alberto Fernandez under the recommendation of the holder of the sanitary portfolio. Both could meet between tomorrow and the day after to be able to resolve the measures based on a report that the Health team will present.
This morning there was a meeting between representatives of Migrations, the Foreign Ministry and the Ministries of Transport and Health. In that meeting the subject was raised and it was put on the table as a possibility to study and solve in the short term. At the same time the Malbrán Institute confirmed the presence of a new strain of coronavirus in Argentina. It is the variant of Rio de Janeiro detected in Brazil since October last year.
The implementation of new restrictions has different positions within the Government. At Ministry of Interior they assume that “Border administration is subject to the health authority for the duration of the pandemic”Therefore, the evaluation made by González García on the increase in cases and the impact on the contagion curve is decisive for the Government to make a decision on the suspension of flights.
At Ministry of Transport they maintain that it is not foreseen to take a measurement of that caliber. They are not considering the possibility of claiming the suspension of flights or the closure of the Ezeiza Airport. In Chief of Cabinet they limit themselves to marking that “the necessary measures will be taken to take care of the health of Argentines.” An official close to Santiago Cafiero was specific about the political cost involved in taking restrictive measures again. “The measures that have to be taken will be taken. As has been done before “, sentenced before the consultation of Infobae.
The option of closing the borders spins like a top through all the offices of the national government. Also the possibility of imitating the resolutions made by the governments of Chaco and La Pampa, which limited the movement of people at night. In the last two days, the possibility of restricting the movement of people between 11 at night and 6 in the morning was analyzed. But own González García accepted in a television interview that at the moment they do not plan to apply it. They are options that are considered to discuss and determine what is the best way to go.
During these hours the Government is studying possible scenarios to apply the measures. Assess whether there is scope for a strict quarantine for a few days to abruptly cut off the circulation of the coronavirus. The great doubt passes through the acceptance of the people so that the fulfillment becomes effective. Some ministers rule out that possibility and warn that society will not comply and that targeted measures should be taken. A selective reverse gear. An official who speaks every day with the President revealed a few days ago that it would be impossible to implement a quarantine similar to the one in April.
In the Casa Rosada they maintain that “You have to watch the full movie and not stay with the data of a day that, sometimes, are often misleading”. That is why the report prepared by the Ministry of Health on epidemiological data from recent weeks is important. These data must also be contextualized. The infections that are registered in the next few days will be those that were generated during the Christmas and New Year holidays. The Government’s intention is to clearly discern a trend of increasing cases in the future and act accordingly.
At the end of the day, the report of the Health portfolio on the new cases only deepened the concern that exists about the health situation. In the last 24 hours, 13,790 new cases and 151 people died.
The largest growth in cases was seen in the province of Buenos Aires, where there were 5,419 infections, a figure that he had not had for more than two months. However, this noon Axel Kicillof ruled out taking restrictive measures in the municipalities of the Coast, where the summer season is active. That decision can be modified with the data of the next few days and after the meeting that the Governor holds before the weekend with the President and the Head of the Government of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
The restrictive measures are postponed but, sooner rather than later, they will arrive. At least that is how they assume it in the heart of the Government. What must be defined is what they are and how they will be applied. In addition, the political cost that Fernández’s administration will have to assume and the real impact that the increase in cases will imply on the health system must be analyzed. Definitions are lacking but evaluations abound. There is a coincidence between officials and ministers. Argentines cannot continue living in the same way that they are living up to now, because otherwise everything that could be advanced will be reversed.
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El Malbrán confirmed the presence of the Rio de Janeiro variant of SARS-CoV-2 in Argentina
Kicillof and the mayors ruled out for now adopting new restrictive measures in the face of the increase in cases of covid-19