After being under lockdown for more than 90 days with stringent social distancing measures, as a result of which the economy went through a turmoil. Argentina is now trying to find its way out taking one step at a time. The measures taken so far were not well received by the community, however, these measures were critical for the country to contain the spread of the virus.
Buenos Aires which is the most affected as well as restricted city in Argentina, saw a new high in reporting COVID-19 cases during the last week. A new presidential speech on June 4th jointly with the governor of Buenos Aires and the head of Cabinet of Ciudad Autónoma (federal district) announced the extension of the quarantine period in the territory for particular sectors until the end of June, was the breaking point for the mass to start to complain.
Firstly, despite the fact that the official announcements are focused on the capital city, several provinces in the country have not reported new cases in the recent times. The rest of the territory, which approximately constitutes to 85% of the population is practicing their own measures within theirs borders. Secondly, restrictions are further extended for 15 more days every now and then, as a result of which there remains a general uncertainty pertaining to the future and the way back to a regular routine for everyone.
To name a few, Jujuy, Salta, Catamarca, La Pampa, San Luis, Chubut are in a better place than Buenos Aires in terms of reporting COVID-19 cases. These cities have made progress and have resumed inter-jurisdictional travel, offices, stores and enabled public spaces of leisure to relax and meet socially.
The benchmark index for each province to advance, is based on the number of cases they reported in a specific period of time, which would determine the stage they are coursing (from “1” as the most critical to “5”, the exit) and the respective termination of measures. The President was grim when he said that the possibility of returning back to the previous stage for territories in advanced stages, should be immediately executed if the results of preventive testing indicate a rise in the number of cases.
The increase in number of infections and deceased has put Buenos Aires on red alert. In a month’s time, the number of cases and deaths in Argentina grew to 47.216 and 1.085 respectively. Out of which, Buenos Aires (21.700 cases) and Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (20.790 cases) alone constituted to almost 90% of them. These numbers were exposed by the national Ministry of Public Health on June 24th’s morning paper (available on Coronavirus - Daily Report. Source: Argentina.gob.ar)
Argentina’s response to social demands reflects an actual awareness of social distancing measures. Yet there are concerns with regards to the communities refusing to comply with the orders and measures imposed by the administrators. Despite the large outbreak of the virus, people are seen walking on the streets, socially meeting with people without following social distancing measures and most importantly they are seen without wearing masks. While it is true that individuals are frustrated with the lockdown measure, the need of the hour is to adhere to the safety measures and guidelines issued by the Government for the well-being of the countrymen.
Notwithstanding the difficulties, Argentina stands on its own feet. A few critical areas to shed light on are:
Argentina has been cautious in its response to COVID-19. The Central Government has struggled not only to contain the spread but also to protect its economy. It is now time for Argentina to reach a unified position between those who stand for the stoppage against all odds, and those who won’t: society is not comfortable and it shows. The opposition also speculates with the vicissitudes and pressures over acceptable.
Numbers don't lie and that should be the main reason to support the working lines to come: although the duration of the lockdown is one of the largest in the world, Argentina continues to deal with a favorable track record and with any luck, it will eventually pay off.
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Dr. Marina Bentez Demtschenko is a lawyer specialising in promoting women rights in the digital era and the study of ICT law with a gender-sensitive ...Read More +