Argentina extends mandatory coronavirus quarantine in large cities until April 26


BUENOS AIRES, Apr 10 (Reuters) – Argentine President Alberto Fernández said on Friday that he will extend the mandatory quarantine in large cities until April 26 inclusive to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The mandatory isolation, which has been in force since March 20, will be extended in urban centers such as Buenos Aires, Rosario, Córdoba and Mendoza, where a number of infected people were registered, the president explained.

The Government will discuss with each provincial governor the protocols to promptly quarantine in some cities that have not had cases of coronavirus.

“It is a decision that will be made by the National Government, at the proposal of the governors,” Fernández explained in a televised press conference.

According to the latest official data, Argentina registers 1,975 infected patients, 82 of them died. Fernández highlighted the benefits of having applied the quarantine and pointed out that if the country had not imposed it, it would have 45,000 cases to date.

“Quarantine makes sense, we have managed to limit the speed of contagion,” he explained.

“No one knows when this martyrdom will end. The only possibility we have is to do what we are doing,” he added.

The coronavirus pandemic hit the world economy, but it especially affected the South American country, which had to postpone a debt restructuring of some 70,000 million dollars. [nL1N2BP2AN]

Economists consulted by the central bank in late March estimated that the third largest economy in Latin America will contract 4.3% in 2020 due to the effect of the pandemic. [nL1N2BV01P]

“I continue to insist that from a point of PBI you can return, from what we cannot return is from a lost life,” said Fernández.

“Right now my problem is not public spending, it is the health of Argentines.”

The president informed that on Monday the banks will operate under certain protocols and added that on Saturday a decree of necessity and urgency will be published to expand the activities exempted from quarantine, such as mechanical workshops and rubber shops.

(Report by Eliana Raszewski. With additional report by Hugh Bronstein.)