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Argentina tightens coronavirus restrictions

21 May 2021 21:37

LONDON. KAZINFORM - President Alberto Fernandez announced Thursday that Argentina is tightening coronavirus restrictions for nine days, Anadolu Agency reports.

The president addressed the nation to announce a strict lockdown in all «high risk» areas in a message shortly after 8.30 p.m. (2330GMT).

«We are living the worst moment since the pandemic began. We have the highest number of cases and deaths,» he said.

Following a record number of infections and deaths in Argentina in recent weeks, he emphasized that the country «must take care of health» during the second wave.

Fernandez also acknowledged some political wrangling about restrictions in recent weeks.

»We must end the confusion. A country cannot have 24 health strategies. What happens in each province or in the capital then impacts the entire country. The virus does not recognize limits or jurisdictions,« he said.

The new measures will take effect at midnight Saturday and last until May 30, restricting the circulation and movement of people in areas of «high risk.«

Face-to-face social, economic, educational, religious and sports activities will be suspended, while only essential services are permitted.

»This collective effort will help us to get through these cold months. I am aware that these restrictions create difficulties. Faced with this reality, there is no choice but to choose the preservation of life,« he said.

He pledged to step up vaccination efforts in which 10,695,800 doses have been administered, according to government data.

Those receiving their first dose stands at 8,495,677 while 2,200,123 have received both doses.

Total occupancy of ICU beds is at 72.6% and in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area it is 76.4%.

Argentina, with a population of more than 45 million, has registered an excess of 3.4 million infections, 72,699 deaths and more than 3 million recoveries, according to Health Ministry data.