The government of Alberto Fernández decreed a strict confinement on Thursday for the first time in the year after more than 35,000 daily infections were reported for the third consecutive day and the death toll from coronavirus in Argentina skyrocketed.

“We are living the worst moment since the pandemic began … we are having the highest number of cases and deaths, we must take seriously the critical situation of this time and not naturalize so much tragedy,” said President Fernández in a message broadcast by the national chain.

From this Saturday until May 31, circulation will be restricted and social, economic, educational, religious and sports activities will be suspended in person in Buenos Aires and the districts of the country with high risk and epidemiological alarm. Workers of essential activities will be exempted from the measures.

In 2020 Argentina was one of the countries with the longest quarantines in the world between March and July, when it began to become more flexible by jurisdiction.

The negative impact of the restrictive measures on the economy and social mood left the government with little margin, but the combination of few vaccines, more contagious variants of the virus and social relaxation put the country on the brink of sanitary collapse.

This Tuesday the South American country exceeded its daily mark of COVID infections and deaths since the pandemic was decreed with 35,543 new cases and 745 deaths. In the following days, the rate of infections was maintained with a slight decrease in the deceased.

Argentina adds 3.4 million infected and more than 72,000 deaths. Meanwhile, the occupancy of beds in intensive care units exceeds 90% in many districts.

“In this second wave there are three problems that we must correct: in some places the measures we imposed were not met, in others they were implemented late … and something fundamental: in many places the controls were relaxed, they have been weak or simply They did not exist”, described Fernández.

After May 31, Fernández announced that the restrictions will return to the current phase – curfew from eight at night to six in the morning, social, recreational and commercial activities prohibited in closed spaces – but on the weekend of June 5 and 6 will again be imposed strict confinement.

“It is decisive that the authority of each jurisdiction apply the rules that we are dictating, there is no room for speculation or doubt,” warned Fernández, in a direct criticism of the governors for not controlling compliance with the measures previously established.

Fernández announced that there will be economic aid for the sectors affected by the new restrictions and confirmed that in the next few days more than four million Sputnik V and AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive.

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