President Alberto Fernández (who yesterday turned 62, his Veteran’s Day birthday also coinciding with Good Friday this year) will meet with City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta in Olivos presidential residence at 10am today to analyse new restrictions to confront the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The meeting was fixed via a telephone call between the two men last Wednesday, triggered by the news that Buenos Aires Province had set a new record for contagion that day with 8,063 people infected (over half the national total of 16,056 – the highest figure since October). Earlier that day President Fernández had already contacted Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof, who is said to be contemplating a return to the third phase of quarantine, according to reports.
Earlier this week, City Health Minister Fernán Quirós threw his support behind the closure of frontiers ordered by the national government, saying that it would help greatly to control the new variants of coronavirus, while pointing out that no new restrictions were being analysed in his own jurisdiction for now.
City Cabinet Chief Felipe Miguel yesterday supported the minister’s comments, saying that no new restrictions were considered “necessary” for now. Nevertheless, the official expressed concern that the daily total of cases in the City had doubled from 600 to 1,200 in the last three weeks, adding the current vaccine supply only permitted 20,000 vaccinations a day within the jurisdiction although there was capacity for 40,000.
Miguel further underlined that City Hall’s top priority was to keep education inside the classroom, followed by the defence of jobs.
Today’s meeting between President Fernández and Mayor Rodríguez Larreta is almost their first contact since last September when the national government abruptly cut the City’s percentage of federal revenue-sharing funds. In the six months before then they had huddled repeatedly together to plan joint action against the Covid-19 pandemic.