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ARGENTINA | 18-04-2021 22:07

Second Covax delivery of 864,000 AstraZeneca doses arrives

Argentina took delivery of a new shipment of Covid-19 vaccines on Sunday, receiving 864,000 doses of the AstraZeneca shot via the World Health Organisation's COVAX scheme.

Argentina took delivery of a new shipment of Covid-19 vaccines on Sunday, welcoming 864,000 doses from the AstraZeneca laboratory as part of the World Health Organisation's COVAX scheme.

The doses, which arrived on a flight from the Netherlands, come from the nine million vaccines acquired by Argentina through the Covax scheme. This is the second shipment, following on from some 218,000 doses received in March.

To date, the government has received just over 7.2 million doses of various shots, of which 6.29 million have been applied. Around 800,000 people have already received two doses.

The Health Ministry said over the weekend that a shipment of Sputnik V vaccines, from the Gamaleya laboratory, are due to arrive in the coming days. A plane from state airline Aerolíneas Argentinas left for Moscow on Saturday. Officials have not said how many doses will make up that shipment. 

Argentina is facing a growing second wave of Covid-19, especially in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area (AMBA), where 15 million of the 45-million population lives.

The occupancy of beds in intensive care units in the AMBA region reached 74.3 percent on Saturday, compared to 64.8 percent nationwide.

On Saturday, 19,119 new cases were registered, lifting total infections to more than 2.67 million. The death toll now stands at 59,164, following 80 new fatalities.

The surge in infections, coupled with fears for Argentina's health system, led to President Alberto Fernández ordering new restrictions, which he tightened even further at the tail end of last week. People are now prohibited from circulating between 8pm and 6am unless they are an essential worker in the AMBA region, while schools in Greater Buenos Aires have also been shuttered until the end of April.

– TIMES/AFP

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