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July 15, 21 - 1:18 pm - Reuters

Argentina surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

Argentina has been one of the hardest-hit countries in Latin America in terms of cases and deaths per capita, with 4.7 million infections and a total of deaths from COVID-19, that surpassed 100,000 on Wednesday.

Average daily cases have fallen from last month’s peak and the occupancy rate of ICU beds is also declining, although it still exceeds 60% nationally.

“Every life that’s gone is a great grief to me,” President Alberto Fernández said in a speech last week. “I guarantee that we will not stop in these months to vaccinate every Argentine.”

While developed countries like the United States have reduced deaths with rapid immunization programs, others in South America lead the rankings of daily deaths and cases per capita, with vaccine distribution hampered by low supply.

Argentina, a country with about 45 million people, applied 25.7 million doses of vaccine, although only 5 million have received the two doses, mostly from the Russian Sputnik V, AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm, from China.

The distribution of vaccines is raising hopes that the country will be able to control the pandemic, but the more dangerous Delta variant is causing a spike in cases even in countries with high vaccination rates, such as Israel, causing them to rethink their campaigns.

The pandemic intensifies an economic crisis already underway in Argentina, which has been essentially stuck in a recession since 2018, with runaway inflation, tight capital controls, and a weak currency causing a flight of dollars.