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Fri Jun 26, 2020, 10:40 PM

Argentina reimposes stay-home order for Buenos Aires metro area and Chaco Province

Argentine President Alberto Fernández announced the reinstating of stay-home orders for Buenos Aires, 40 surrounding counties, and Chaco Province for the July 1-17 period.

The order, affecting over 16 million of the nation's 45 million people, comes after a sustained increase in the number of reported new daily Covid-19 cases since the first stay-home order was loosened in stages starting May 7th.

Argentina had managed to limit the spread of Covid-19 by imposing a national shutdown from March 20th to May 7th that limited most activities to essential services.

The country's reported cases has since then multiplied ten-fold - from 5,371 on May 7th, to 55,343. New daily cases have ballooned from 163, to a record 2,886 today.

Some 1,184 fatalities have been recorded thus far, averaging 75 years in age, with daily deaths rising from 9 to 34. The number ICU beds occupied by Covid-19 patients has likewise tripled since May 7th to 472 - 90% of which are now in the Buenos Aires/La Plata metro area.

The March stay-home order deepened Argentina's "Macrisis" recession - a twin economic and debt crisis inherited from Mauricio Macri's right-wing, 2015-19 tenure.

With recession already entering its third year, GDP fell 19.2% in April according to local economic analyst Orlando Ferreres.

The lifting of restrictions resulted in a 9.2% rebound in May, according to Ferreres - but GDP remains 14.9% below May 2019 levels. An economic relief package of nearly $20 billion (5% of GDP) has been earmarked since March.

President Fernández reminded Argentines, however, that the economic crisis afflicting the country amid the pandemic is not limited to Argentina.

While the IMF projects Argentina's GDP to fall by 9.9% this year, similar declines are projected for numerous countries whose leaders were reluctant - or, in the case of Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, hostile - to imposing stay-home orders.

Argentina's rate of 123 cases per 100,000 people compares favorably to 602 in Brazil, 771 in the United States, 826 in Peru, and 1,378 in Chile.

"The problem is not the quarantine," he summarized, "it's the pandemic."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&tab=wT&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pagina12.com.ar%2F274788-alberto-fernandez-sobre-la-nueva-cuarentena-en-argentina-la-

Argentine President Alberto Fernández announces the reinstating of a stay-home order covering 40% of the nation's population for the July 1-17 period in a bid to slow a recent spike in cases and ICU bed admissions.

While stay-home orders and other pandemic-related restrictions are still supported by over 70% of Argentines, Fernández asked for understanding.

"We're doing this so no Argentine will go without the care they need and deserve," he pleaded.

Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (left), of the opposition party, agreed: "I, too, believe that this quarantine has prevented a public health collapse like that in other countries and cities."

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