Argentina should reimpose lockdown due to rapid spread of COVID-19, says president

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-11 05:32:02|Editor: huaxia

BUENOS AIRES, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Argentina should reimpose stiff lockdown measures given the high number of novel coronavirus infections reported daily, President Alberto Fernandez said on Wednesday.

"We have not overcome the problem yet. We must move very cautiously, because we run the risk of ... failing to realize that we are generating situations of transmission," said Fernandez.

Argentina on Tuesday reported 1,141 new cases of infection, the largest single-day rise since the outbreak was detected here on March 3.

"The speed of transmission we have today is the fastest since day one, meaning we should be in phase 1 (of the pandemic), which is a total lockdown," Fernandez told a local radio station.

He acknowledged the "anxiety in many sectors" to resume economic activity, calling it "legitimate," but "that multiplies the risks," he warned.

Argentina declared lockdown measures on March 20, which slowed the rate of transmission and gave the healthcare system time to prepare for the surge of the number of patients.

The capital Buenos Aires and other hard-hit parts of the country have moved on to phase 3 of the pandemic, which allows for more relaxed measures through June 28.

The remaining 85 percent of the country that experienced minor or no outbreaks has moved on to phase 5, which calls for activity to resume under "mandatory social distancing" guidelines.

As of late Tuesday, Argentina reported that 24,761 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 717 people have died from the disease. Enditem