The COVID-19 pandemic in Argentina is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). On 3 March 2020, the virus was confirmed to have spread to Argentina.As of 20 August 2020 a total of 320,871 people were confirmed to have been infected, and 6,517 people were known to have died because of the virus.
On 19 March a nation-wide lockdown until 31 March was established in Argentina.The government later extended the lockdown to mid April, then 26 April;and on 25 April, President Alberto Fernández announced that the lockdown would be extended in major cities until 10 May.The lockdown was lifted throughout all the country, excepting the Greater Buenos Aires urban area, on 10 May, with Greater Buenos Aires locked down until 24 May,later extended to 7 June,and then 28 June, after a big jump in the number of new cases in this area.
Responses to the outbreak have included restrictions on commerce and movement, closure of borders, and the closure of schools and educational institutions.Clusters of infections and deaths have occurred in nursing homes, prisons and other detention centers, and urban areas.The number of tests increased over time, although there were some concerns as there was less testing than in other countries of the region such as Chile and Peru.
A first case of the COVID-19 was confirmed in Buenos Aires on 3 March, in a 43-year-old man who had arrived two days earlier from Milan, Italy.Two days later, the second case was confirmed in a 23-year-old man living in Buenos Aires, who had recently returned from Northern Italy.Rapidly, on the next day the total cases increased to eight. On 11 March, the government also announced a mandatory 14-day-quarantine to every person that returned to Argentina from highly affected countries including China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, the United States and all of Europe.The first cases from local transmission were confirmed on the next day in Buenos Aires and the provinces of Buenos Aires, Chaco, and Córdoba.
On 9 August, the Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 61,867 new recoveries on that day. This big jump was due to a revision on the definition of a recovery, which now included (among the discharged from the hospitals) mild cases in which the system would automatically discharge 10 days after the symptom onset date. This led to a recovery rate of 70% of confirmed COVID-19 cases through the date.During this month, schools and sports began the return to their activities. Over 10,000 students in San Juan became the first to return to face-to-face classes through social distancing on 10 August
The ANLIS-Malbrán (National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes “Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán”) began carrying out 300 daily COVID-19 tests. Later, after 820 confirmed cases were reached, the Ministry of Health started the delivery of 35,000 reactives to expand the number of laboratories for diagnosis to all 24 jurisdictions in order to decentralize the testings, making the number of testings increase over time.Private medical clinics will be able to do up to 7,500 daily tests to decompress the public health system. Previously, the delivery of the diagnostic result was taking four to five days on average for patients in private clinics.As an effort to fight and contain the virus, the Ministry of Health implemented a plan of contact tracing in defined areas where an increase in the number of cases is detected or estimated. The plan launched first in Buenos Aires and was later extended troughout the country.
The government’s responses to the pandemic was very well seen, including the mandatory lockdown and strict social distancing measures, resulting in a general better look in the number of cases and deaths than other countries in the region.The measures also brought some concerns with the economic impact that it could cause to the country.Even so, the way that president Fernández and its government handled the country’s response to the spread of COVID-19 resulted in the best numbers of public approval since the president’s assumption in December 2019.Argentina was among the Latin American countries that earned the best grades for their response to the pandemic.