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Sun Mar 15, 2020, 09:34 PM

Argentina suspends public events, shuts schools and borders until March 31st

Argentine President Alberto Fernández announced that all schools from the pre-K to high school level, as well as the nation's land, air, and sea borders would be closed to all foreign arrivals until March 31st in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

All public events are also ordered to suspend until further notice, though sports and cultural events may be televised without audiences or spectators - something Fernández hopes will encourage his 45 million fellow Argentines to "stay home."

Fernández had already declared a health emergency on March 12, which ordered a 14-day minimum quarantine for any Argentine resident recently arrived from "high-risk" countries - including China, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Spain, and the United States - or tourists from those countries currently in Argentina.

"We are trying to prevent a small problem from becoming a bigger one," Fernández explained. These restrictions, he added, may be "extended" past March 31st.

Argentina has thus far registered 56 cases of Covid-19 - including two deaths. All cases thus far recorded in the country have been of tourists returning from Europe of the United States, as well as at least two cases of direct transmission to family members.

Fernández also ordered that senior citizens still in the work force be given paid leave on demand - a benefit also extended to those returning from high-risk countries.

The nation's social security agency (ANSES) and Medicare equivalent (PAMI) were likewise ordered to schedule personal appointments to any beneficiary requesting one, in order to prevent the lines that often typify ANSES and PAMI offices.

Restrictions on public transport may be announced tomorrow, according to the president.

Today's announcement affects over 12 million students, 1 million teachers in 65,000 schools, and 5 million seniors - as well as over 500,000 monthly foreign visitors. Schools, however, will continue to serve meals to needy children - an essential service in a country where childhood poverty soared to 52% in 2019.

The extent of today's measures are expected to deepen the country's recession - already approaching its third year.

Central Bank interest rates had already been reduced from 63% when Fernández took office on December 10, to 38% today - and plans for subsidized business loans have been announced to prevent further business closures and layoffs.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&tab=wT1&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pagina12.com.ar%2F253112-coronavirus-clases-suspendidas-y-fronteras-cerradas



Argentine President Alberto Fernández answers questions in today's press conference as Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (left) and Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof listen.

Today's school closures and restrictions on inbound travel and public events are the most stringent thus far in the region, since the onset of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Argentina's health resources are already strained by two years of recession and budget cuts under Fernández's right-wing predecessor.

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Reply Argentina suspends public events, shuts schools and borders until March 31st (Original post)
sandensea Mar 15 OP
Judi Lynn Mar 16 #1

Response to sandensea (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 06:32 AM

1. Wise, compassionate decisions. It's good to see the measures taken for poor elderly people and kids.

Macri should apologize for bringing so much trouble to his own country. 52% of the children in Argentina living below the poverty line is a failure he should NEVER have allowed to happen while he and his friends were busy stuffing their offshore accounts.

Arranging for the very unfortunate impoverished children to have a way to eat lunch, perhaps their only meal during the weekdays is such needed benevolence. It must be killing the one percenters!

The new administration is moving decisively and accurately to do the most with its post-Macrisis resources.

It's very good news. Thank you, sandensea.

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