23 de noviembre de 2020
Hispanic World

Argentina nearing 1 million Covid-19 cases with no end in sight

Buenos Aires, Oct 19 (efe-epa).- Seven months of restrictions have not managed to bend the coronavirus infection curve in Argentina, a country that now is nearing one million confirmed cases without any end in sight, with 26,267 Covid-19 deaths so far and an economic and social situation that is steadily becoming more critical.

Buenos Aires, Oct 19 (efe-epa).- Seven months of restrictions have not managed to bend the coronavirus infection curve in Argentina, a country that now is nearing one million confirmed cases without any end in sight, with 26,267 Covid-19 deaths so far and an economic and social situation that is steadily becoming more critical.

According to the latest figures from the national Health Ministry, the South American country has registered 989,680 confirmed Covid-19 cases, of which about 804,000 have recovered and another 159,500 are still "active."

Thus, and taking into account the average number of newly confirmed cases each day for the past seven days has been 13,639, Argentine on Monday most probably will exceed the one million case threshold, thus becoming the second Latin American country and the fifth country worldwide to break that barrier.

The restrictions implemented by the government on March 20 managed to control the spread of Covid-19, as other countries in the region - namely Peru, Chile and Brazil - saw their cases and deaths increase out of control during the first months of the pandemic, and Argentina limited the outbreak to the Buenos Aires metro area, the most densely populated part of the country.

Yet, the virus ultimately spread beyond the capital metro zone and little by little permeated to all the interior provinces, many of which in June abandoned the "preventive and obligatory social isolation" phase in favor of greater flexibility, known as "preventive and obligatory social distancing."

Although in June the Argentine capital and its populous urban belt contained more than 90 percent of the country's coronavirus cases, now that zone has just 27.5 percent of the cases and the provinces represent 72.5 percent of the newly confirmed cases, with Santa Fe, Cordoba and Tucuman leading in that dire statistic.

In the case of the capital, Buenos Aires reached the "peak" of its infection curve in August and since then the curve has slowly declined, with just 517 positive tests on Sunday, thus becoming the only region, along with the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, where the number of cases is clearly falling in recent days.

"The curve has been in a slow but systematic decline since the last week of August up to today," Buenos Aires Health Minister Fernan Quiros said on Monday.

Currently, Argentina is among the Latin American countries where the pandemic is spreading fastest, a reality to which must be added the high number of daily deaths since the beginning of September.

In fact, according to the Our World in Data Web page, which is run by Oxford University, Argentina is the country worldwide with the highest number of deaths per million residents over the past seven days, with a figure of 8, placing it significantly ahead of the Czech Republic (4.76), Israel (4.11), Colombia (3.21), Iran (3.11), Mexico (2.68) and Spain (2.58).

Over the past week, Argentina registered 2,882 deaths from Covid-19, with a daily average of 412.

Another alarming figure is the current rate of infection (the percentage of positive test results compared to the total number of tests). Since the pandemic began, Argentina has performed 2,373,496 Covid-19 tests and 43.81 percent of them have been positive, according to the national Health Ministry in its morning report on Monday.

Yet another alarming figure as of Sunday was the number of confirmed cases (10,561) versus the total tests performed (13,890), or 76 percent, exceeding by far the 10 percent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization to certify that enough testing is being done.

In any case, the health situation is not the only crisis besetting Argentina, which since mid-2018 has been in an economic recession aggravated by the isolation measures imposed to control the pandemic.

The figures speak for themselves: the economy plunged 19.1 percent on an interannual basis between April and June, unemployment increased to 13.1 percent during the same period and the poverty index exceeded 40 percent in the first six months of this year, five points higher than at the end of 2019.

In addition, since mid-September Argentina has been dealing with growing exchange rate tension with a gap opening up between the official and informal dollar rate of greater than 100 percent, raising fears of a possible devaluation of the Argentine peso.

This entire panorama led the International Monetary Fund to downgrade its forecast for 2020. According to the multilateral organization, the Argentina economy will contract by 11.8 percent this year, instead of the 9.9 percent predicted in June.

Histórico de noticias
Pandemic worsens gender violence against women in Ecuador

By Daniela Brik

Trump appeals case tossed in Pennsylvania, hoping to get it to Supreme Court

Washington, Nov 22 (efe-epa).- The reelection campaign of President Donald Trump on Sunday appealed a court decision to throw out his most important...

Iota homeless in Colombia: between exodus and nights in the open

By Klarem Valoyes Gutierrez

Colombian island of Providencia devastated by Iota

Bogotá, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- The Colombian island of Providencia, a 17-square-kilometer paradise in the Caribbean Sea, has been almost entirely devastated by...

Pentagon confirms large troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in January

Washington, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- US Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller on Tuesday officially announced a partial withdrawal of US troops from...

Out-of-control Covid puts Trump up against urgent need to admit his election defeat

By Jairo Mejia

Obama's memoirs, a critical and optimistic look at a divided US

By Lucia Leal

Biden predicts more Covid-19 deaths if Trump continues blocking transition

By Lucia Leal

Hurricane Iota storm surge floods Cartagena streets

(Update 1: Updates headline, lede, adds information about Colombian islands, minor edits)

Kids with cancer, women, reporters: The forgotten ones amid Covid in Mexico

By Miquel Muñoz

Dustin Johnson notches Masters win

Augusta, Georgia, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- US golfer Dustin Johnson, ranked No. 1 in the world, on Sunday for the first time won the Master's Tournament, notching...

Trump admits Biden's win, then takes it back, insisting on election fraud

By Susana Samhan

Still reeling from Eta, Central America now bracing for Hurricane Iota

Tegucigalpa, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- Honduras is on "red alert" for the arrival of Hurricane Iota, which should make landfall as either a very powerful Category...

Pompeo in Paris to meet with Macron on 1st leg of Middle East tour

Paris, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday is in Paris, with a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron scheduled for the first...

El Salvador to aid Guatemala with aircraft to access Eta-hit zones

San Salvador, Nov 11 (efe-epa).- El Salvador's defense minister, Rene Merino Monroy, reported Wednesday that his country will support Guatemala with two...

Thousands anxious about leaving their flooded homes in SE Mexico

By Mitzi Mayauel Fuentes Gomez

Biden widens popular vote margin as Trump tries to delegitimize his win

Washington, Nov 11 (efe-epa).- The state of Georgia announced Wednesday that it will perform a manual recount of all ballots cast in last week's...

Apple unveils new MacBook Pro, Air, mini models using its M1 chips

By Marc Arcas

US Supreme Court suggests it will not overturn Obamacare

Washington, Nov 10 (efe-epa).- The US Supreme Court on Tuesday gave indications that it will allow to stand at least the major part of the 2010 health care...

Biden: Successful transition despite Trump's "embarrassing" defiance

(Update: Releads, recasts)

Dow Jones rockets to intraday high on Pfizer vaccine news, Biden win

By Nora Quintanilla

Esper, ex-defense chief who refused Trump on using Army to quash protests

Washington, Nov 9 (efe-epa).- US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who was summarily fired on Monday by Donald Trump, will be remembered for having opposed the...

Biden advierte del "invierno muy oscuro" en EE.UU. ante un repunte de contagios

Washington, Nov 9 (efe-epa).- President-Elect Joe Biden, after declaring victory in last week's presidential election, briefed the nation on the fight to...

Migrants on Mexico-US border hope asylum to be expanded under Biden

By Abraham Pineda Jacome