Argentina's government reporting a staggering jump in confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, with infections reaching 9,336 in the preceding 24 hours – a rise of almost 4,000 on the previous day.
In addition, 24 fatalities were recorded, the Health Ministry confirmed.
The tally will increase concerns among officials – the last time Argentina surpassed such a total was back on August 19, when more than 10,500 cases were recorded nationwide.
Leading the surge, Buenos Aires Province registered 3,372, followed by Buenos Aires City with 1,719 and Córdoba with 1,886.
According to the latest official report, the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 116,953, while the number of infected people now stands at 5,404,380.
Government officials said on Monday that Covid infections had risen by more than 75 percent over the past week.
f the total number of infected people, 5,240,512 have already recovered, with 46,915 still suffering from the disease, according to the Health Ministry.
Occupancy of intensive care units nationwide reaches 35.1 percent, rising to 38.2 percent in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area (AMBA).
Argentina's government has asked the population to be extra vigilant given fears over the arrival of the Omicron variant, which was first detected on December 5 in San Luis Province, after a fully vaccinated traveller who recently returned from South Africa tested positive for the new strain.
Since then, at least four more cases of Omicron have been confirmed, according to an official report in mid-December, with no updated data on the progress of this variant having been released to date.
Argentina's vaccination campaign is still ongoing, with more than 70 percent (31,908,448 people) out of a population of 45 million people having received the full two-dose vaccination schedule and some two million people also receiving a booster to date. However, some 6.5 million people have only received the first dose.
According to the Health Ministry, Argentina has "the necessary stock of doses to start and complete the pending schemes and to vaccinate with additional and booster doses all the inhabitants of the national territory".
The government has announced that a new Covid health pass detailing vaccination status will be required, starting January 1, for all those aged over 13 who seek to attend indoor activities or mass events in open spaces. Some jurisdictions anticipated the decision in view of rising caseloads in their regions.
In Buenos Aires Province, home to almost 40 percent of the country's population, the pass came into effect this week. Governor Axel Kicillof said a few days ago that the earlier date was a response "to the fact that cases have increased in the province by 33 percent in one week," he reported.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Argentina has recorded almost 5.4 million cases of Covid-19 and 116,930 deaths. The occupancy in intensive care units currently stands at 34.9 percent nationwide.