Coronavirus: Argentina Under Nationwide Lockdown

  • The goal of the lockdown is to "flatten the curve."
  • Fernandez was visibly upset with those Argentines who decided to take a trip to the Atlantic Coast for a long weekend.
  • Yesterday, the Ministry of Health confirmed 31 new cases and the total number of infected rose to 128.

Argentine President Albero Fernández announced the “preventative and compulsory” lockdown across the country starting from midnight this Friday until Tuesday, March 31. The aim is slowing down the advance of the coronavirus. The measure that has already come into force was supported by all the governors of Argentina, most of whom were present in the Quinta de Olivos to hear the reasons for the government’s decision.

Alberto Fernández is an Argentine politician serving as President of Argentina since 2019. He won the 2019 general election with 48% of the vote, defeating incumbent President Mauricio Macri.

“We are taking care of the health of Argentines,” Fernández said. The goal of the lockdown is, as Fernández repeatedly told his officials and governors, “flatten the curve” for those infected. If this is accomplished, the quarantine will end when stipulated. In the case of the infections spread, the President does not rule out spreading it.

Fernández continued, “we’ll be absolutely inflexible in the enforcement,” the Peronist leader declared. “This is an exceptional measure in an exceptional time, within the framework of what democracy allows.”

The mandatory quarantine at the national level is the most drastic measure that the government has taken since the COVID-19 virus began to spread within the country. It forced the authorities of the different provinces to take isolation measures to prevent the contagion from multiplying. “It is about preventing the contagion rate from accelerating in such a way that the health system cannot attend to it,” said Fernández.

Fernández warned that as of this Friday all Argentines must submit to social, preventive and compulsory isolation, and said this implies that from that moment “nobody can move from their homes.” The President clarified that “local businesses” will be open, among which he highlighted “supermarkets, warehouses, and pharmacies.” After that information, he explained that from midnight “the Prefecture, the Gendarmerie and the Federal Police, together with the provincial police, they will be controlling who circulates on the streets.”

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), also known as 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), and novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) is a viral respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). It was first detected during the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

At the conference, he stressed that it is an exceptional measure that the government dictates at an exceptional time, but within the framework that democracy allows. One of the data in which he placed the greatest emphasis is that you should “try to prevent the contagion rate from accelerating at a rate that the health system cannot cope with”. Then, he indicated “we have calculated everything, we need everyone to do their part.”

In another section of his presentation, Fernández said that “there are a series of activities that are free from this preventive system” and he listed them. “Those of us who work in the national, provincial and municipal governments. Those who work in healthcare, the security forces, and the armed forces and other activities, such as those that work in the production of food, drugs and some other activities such as refining gasoline and diesel.”

Visibly upset with those Argentines who decided to take a trip to the Atlantic coast to spend the long weekend, he repeatedly asked that people not move from their homes. At the end of his speech, he referred to the impact that the economy will suffer due to the slowdown in activities.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health confirmed 31 new cases and the total number of infected rose to 128. They are located in the city of Buenos Aires, the province of Buenos Aires, Chaco, Córdoba, Tierra del Fuego, Río Negro, Entre Ríos, Santa Fe, San Luis, Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán and Santa Cruz.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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