On Saturday, July 25, Argentine health authorities reported 5493 new cases and 105 fatalities from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within the previous 24 hours, reaching a total of 150,520 confirmed cases in the country, with 2807 associated deaths. The announcement comes despite strict ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in Buenos Aires and surrounding areas.
President Alberto Fernández has extended the lockdown in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, in place since March 20, multiple times. Due to a rise in COVID-19 infections, some restrictions which had previously been eased have been reimposed. From July 1, only those working in essential services have been able to use public transport and the public has been asked to stay in their homes. Most nonessential businesses that had resumed operations on June 8 have been required to close again. Restrictions have been eased in many other areas of Argentina, but Buenos Aires remains the epicenter of the country's outbreak. Fernández also urged residents of the capital not to show their anger at the necessary measures, as protests have been witnessed in recent months as people grow tired of the restrictions.
Schools nationwide will remain closed while mass gatherings, including shows, concerts, and sporting events, are prohibited. Outdoor exercise is permitted between 08:00 and 20:00 (local time). A suspension of ticket sales for commercial flights remains in place until September 1. This includes ticket sales for all flights into and out of, as well as within, Argentina, preventing the booking of flights without approval from the Argentine Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC). However, chartered repatriation flights have been allowed to continue operating.
Further international spread of the virus is expected in 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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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