August 07, 21 - 12:48 pm - Reuters

Argentina announces partial reopening of activities; reaches 5 million COVID-19 cases

Argentina on Friday announced a plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions in the face of a drop in infections, which, however, has not prevented the country from reaching 5 million cases and exceeding 107,000 deaths from the disease.

The new measures, part of a three-stage plan that has no date and depends on the evolution of the pandemic, including increasing the number of people who can meet and advancing face-to-face classes in schools.

The Argentine government also announced the expansion of the country’s entry quota to 1,700 daily passengers, up from the current 1,000, and the removal of restrictions on direct flights to the UK and other countries that had been in place for months because of health concerns.

“The more we vaccinate and take care of ourselves, the more we can sustain these achievements and the more we can move forward in sustained and progressive openings,” President Alberto Fernandez said in a recorded message.

“We are moving towards the second recovery,” he added amid a strong advance in vaccination and falling cases following the strong second wave of Covid-19 that rocked the country during the winter.

Experts predict that the Delta variant, of which there are less than 100 cases in the country so far, will begin to have community circulation in the coming weeks.

“Delta variant is certainly spreading in the community,” neurologist Conrado Estol told Reuters, pointing out that “Argentina does not have a high level of testing, does not have a high level of double vaccination.”

Argentina, with a population of about 45 million, has vaccinated 25.84 million people with the first dose, but only 7.98 million with the full scheme, according to official data.

New U.S. ambassador in Argentina

U.S. President Joe Biden selected Marc Stanley, a Dallas-based civil trial lawyer who helped organize attorneys in support of Biden’s presidential campaign, as ambassador to Argentina. The country is trying to engineer a recovery from a three-year-long recession exacerbated by the pandemic in 2020.

(Translated by LABS)