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ARGENTINA | 23-07-2020 15:39

Covid-19 case spike puts Argentina's health system on alert

Since Monday, Argentina has been recording around a hundred deaths daily from Covid-19, almost double the average of the previous week.

An increase in confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths this week in Argentina has raised concerns about the capacity of the nation’s health system, especially in Buenos Aires and its heavily populated periphery, where 90 percent of the infections are concentrated.

The country has recorded around a hundred deaths daily since Monday, almost double the average of the previous week. Positive cases also grew from 3,800 daily averages last week to a record 5,782 on Wednesday.

"The trend does not make us think that this will improve," admitted Buenos Aires Province's Deputy Health Minister Nicolás Kreplak on Thursday.

"The numbers that we are seeing is alarming; we cannot continue with this growth rate," he said in an interview with Futurock radio.

The chief of the expert advisory team to the provincial health portfolio, Enio García, assured that in the public health system "there are some saturated institutions, but there is still space."

The national Health Ministry said Wedesnday evening that the occupation of beds in intensive care units stood at 55 percent in the entire territory and 64.3 percent in the metropolitan area of ​​Buenos Aires.

However, in the private system, occupation "has reached 90 percent of its floor capacity for care and 80 percent in intensive care," said Claudio Belocopitt, the president of the Argentine Union of Private Health Entities.

"The trend of the last few weeks produces an orange alert - if this continues there is no doubt that the system will suffer," he said Wednesday in a virtual conference with foreign press outlets.

According to Belocopitt, the private health system serves 70 percent of the population, around 30 million people.

To date, Argentina has registered 141,887 cases of Covid-19 so far with 2,617 dead and 62,815 recovered.

The surge in cases comes after two weeks of strict confinement in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, which began to relax on Monday with a phased opening of activities until August 2. M

The province of Jujuy had started an opening of activities this week, but returned to a strict quarantine due to the increase in cases. Santa Fe also tightened traffic restrictions.

Argentina imposed a lockdown on March 20, and since then it has been relaxing that measure in almost the entire country, especially in the provinces with few infections.

-TIMES/AFP

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