Argentina expands activities whose workers are exempt from quarantine due to coronavirus


BUENOS AIRES, Apr 19 (Reuters) – Argentina expanded in the last hours of Saturday the state, commercial and medical activities that allow workers in these areas to not have to comply with a mandatory quarantine for the coronavirus established by the Government that, until the moment, will last until April 26.

The quarantine that has forced most of Argentina’s population to stay at home began on March 20. As of Saturday, 2,839 confirmed cases of coronavirus were registered in the South American country, of which 132 people died, according to data from the Argentine Ministry of Health.

According to an administrative decision published on Saturday in the Official Gazette, the staff affected by income establishments and offices, shops without public service and with home delivery, scheduled medical and dental care, laboratories and opticians, and violence establishments in gender may attend their work.

The administrative decision also indicates that “production for export” and “specific industrial processes” will also be exempted from quarantine, with prior authorization from the Ministry of Productive Development. However, the document did not provide further details.

However, the presidential decree published on March 19 that signaled the beginning of the quarantine had already released the “non-deferrable activities related to foreign trade” from the ban.

Until now, the authorized shops were supermarkets, pharmacies, hardware stores, veterinarians and the provision of gas bottles. Health and security personnel, and workers linked to public services and transportation, and the transportation of merchandise were also excepted, among other activities.

The Argentine decision comes at a time when, in addition to suffering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the South American nation is going through an economic crisis and after the government offered international creditors to restructure sovereign debt for nearly 70,000 million dollars.

(Report by Jorge Iorio and Maximilian Heath)