Argentine authorities announced on Friday, May 8, that quarantine restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will be extended in Buenos Aires and its province until Sunday, May 24. Under the extended lockdown measures for Buenos Aires, parents will be allowed to take their children out for exercise at weekends. Furthermore, President Alberto Fernandez declared that quarantine restrictions in the rest of the country, due to expire on Sunday, May 10, will be relaxed. The relaxation of lockdown measures in other regions will allow certain shops to reopen; however, the decision-making on when and which parts of the economy should resume operations in each region will be left to the governors.
Under the lockdown measures, all individuals are required to remain at home unless going out to purchase basic goods. Banks, bakeries, supermarkets, mechanics, delivery services, pharmacies, public and private hospitals, and service stations, amongst others, are permitted to operate. Additionally, the use of face masks is mandatory in public spaces and lack of compliance may result in a fine of 1000 Argentine pesos (USD 15.40) in some provinces. Public transport has resumed from Tuesday, May 5, as long as services operate at 60 percent of capacity. Police officers have been deployed to enforce quarantine measures.
Argentina's National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC) previously announced the banning of ticket sales for commercial flights until Tuesday, September 1, in response to COVID-19. The new measure includes ticket sales for flights into and out of, as well as within, Argentina. According to the government, the decree's aim is to prevent the booking of flights that have not been previously approved by ANAC.
Argentina's borders also remain closed until Saturday, May 30, to both Argentine and foreign nationals.
As of Saturday, May 9, authorities have confirmed 5611 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 293 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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