Faced with the rise of people infected and killed by the coronavirus in Argentina, President Alberto Fernández announced Thursday evening (20) a nine-day lockdown in the regions deemed most critical. The measure, which represents the return to phase 1 of the plan to adapt to the health crisis, comes into force on Saturday (22).
In addition to the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, which encompasses the federal capital and has 16 million inhabitants, the cities of Rosario, Córdoba and Santa Fé will also be affected.
During this period, only essential activities (trade in food products, medicines, hospitals, pharmacies and gas stations) can operate and only workers in these areas are allowed to circulate, in addition to politicians, journalists and diplomats, who receive special authorization.
All social, educational, religious and sporting activities will be suspended. However, traders will be able to maintain delivery services, as will restaurants and bars.
According to the president, depending on the pandemic situation, there could be a relaxation of the rules from May 31.
At the same time, Fernández announced the return of certain economic aids, such as Repro (Productive Recovery), which will benefit companies, services and industries that will have to stop working, and an increase in the complementary salary for workers in critical sectors and health sectors.
Nurses and doctors across the country are complaining about the increases, and last week they organized a march through downtown Buenos Aires, calling for resources and better working conditions.
There will also be an increase in public investment in social spending, with a strengthening of the “food label”, a card with discounts for purchases in supermarkets for low-income families.
The measures aim to contain the coronavirus curve, which has increased in Argentina. Last Tuesday (18), the record number of single-day deaths was recorded – 744, which puts the country at the top of the daily death rate relative to the number of inhabitants.
Since the start of the health crisis, 72,669 people have been killed and 3.4 million infected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.