Coronavirus: the Buenos Aires Government’s plan to curb contagions in vulnerable neighborhoods

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The death by coronavirus of a woman in Barrio 31 and the multiplicity of cases that are registered in the emergency settlements of the City forced the Buenos Aires government to take urgent measures to prevent the contagion curve. keep climbing in these areas.

Until this Tuesday, they were officially confirmed 249 cases of COVID-19 in those places. Those most affected are Barrio 31, with 151 infected; and 1-11-14, with 71 others.

In addition, there are three in the Ramón Carrillo neighborhood; three in Barrio 21-24; two in Hidden City; two in Barrio 20; one in the Fatima neighborhood; one in Rodrigo Bueno; one in Piletones; another in Barrio Miter.

There are 13 infected neighbors who live in vulnerable neighborhoods but choose not to disclose their whereabouts.

Meanwhile, the Epidemiology team of the Ministry of Health of the City works with 75 suspected cases of contracting the virus, because they are close contacts of positive cases.

This Tuesday, they detected another 39 suspected cases during a health operation in Barrio 31.

Given this, the Buenos Aires Government seeks to slow down contagions, so it has four lines of action that are carried out by the Ministry of Human Development and Habitat, as indicated to TN.com.ar.

First, they display a “contagion awareness campaign“Since the third week of March, in all the popular neighborhoods of the City: leaflets were distributed” under the door “to avoid contact between people, prevention measures were communicated via social networks, WhatsApp groups in charge of the referents from neighborhood cooperatives and the Juntas Vecinales, text messages, phone calls, community radio and through religious institutions.

In addition, they perform toured with megaphones through the internal streets and they oiled the communication with neighborhood dining rooms so that Deliver outreach material alongside food rations. In all these opportunities, he took the opportunity to report on dengue prevention.

Another line is linked to the food safety. That is, reinforcement in canteens, picnic areas and early childhood centers.

The Ministry distributes food rations in 561 points of the City among canteens (471), early childhood centers (75) and community gardens (16). Of the 471 dining rooms in the City, 316 are in popular neighborhoods, they detailed.

On the other hand, increased the number of rations for the dining rooms in April, more than 30% compared to February of the same year, going from feeding around 90,000 people to more than 105,000.

Door-to-door controls in Barrio 31. (Photo: TN.com.ar / Mario Peredo).
Door-to-door controls in Barrio 31. (Photo: TN.com.ar / Mario Peredo).

In order to avoid contact between people, the neighbors do not use the common spaces to eat, but they remove the food and take it home. In order to avoid the crowding of people, the opening hours were extended and the delivery of food via shifts was promoted.

All the dining rooms were sent a cleaning kit and also disposable plastic containers for those neighbors who do not have food to take away.

During the month of April, different dry food delivery points were incorporated to meet the growing demand for dining rooms. These new points cover the food demand of approximately 20,000 people.

The third point is directed to the field of hygiene and health.

In that sense, they are carried forward hydrowash cleaning operations, both in housing complexes and neighborhoods. “We brought together three cooperatives that clean the streets, sidewalks and facades of houses with water and chlorine that disinfect the common areas of the neighborhoods,” they explained in a report.

In addition, the Buenosairean teams carry out operations with trucks that clean with hoses, house by house.

Of the 34 sweeping and sanitation cooperatives that currently carry out activities, three are spraying each house with water and chlorine. Although it was done by dengue, is driven with the objective of not spreading COVID-19. The operation is complemented by garbage trucks.

All sweeping, maintenance and cleaning cooperatives are also equipped on a weekly basis in order to reinforce sweeping and collection schedules and, in this way, not generate large sources of waste accumulation.

The Ministry of the Environment and Public Space increased the frequency of waste collection inside vulnerable neighborhoods and nearby areas.

In Barrio 31, collection was implemented in motorcycles that collect garbage bags from neighbors at home.

The other focus is on older adults. “All those over 65 have a flu shot “, they affirmed and in that sense they pointed out: “We have been working with the Ministry of Health, churches, neighborhood leaders and organizations to guarantee a process that takes care of the health of the greatest.”

The City has 28 shelter centers in neighborhoods, 339 total beds, 189 for the elderly, 150 for people in street situations or with consumption of prohibited substances, and 150 beds in hotels.

A center is already operating in Barrio 15, in the Caacupé Parish, where four older adults remain isolated.

Detail of the program for older adults

Seniors living alone in vulnerable situations: they can distance themselves at home with the help of health promoters from the neighborhoods who assist them in shopping, accompany them emotionally and promote care and hygiene measures at home. They ensure that there is a neighborhood promoter for every 10 older adults.

This assistance can also be offered by a family member or a neighbor following the same instructions. “The idea is to promote the existing ties in the neighborhoods and otherwise go to a neighborhood promoter,” they said.

Seniors living with their families in vulnerable situations: when due to the conditions of their home they cannot distance themselves from their own domicile, the City offers them accommodation in establishments conditioned to carry out isolation without neglecting their emotional ties.

Some options are community centers, nursing homes, neighborhood clubs, and hotels.

In those places they will find medical attention in the event that they require it; and they will be accompanied by specialists from the Ministry.

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