Argentina's coronavirus numbers are continuing to peak.
The Health Ministry confirmed Thursday that Argentina had recorded 648 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, a new high and more than double that of two weeks ago, when around 300 cases were being reported daily. Numbers have risen throughout the week – on Wednesday, 474 new infections were recorded.
Covid-19 infections now Argentina total 9,918, of which 3,032 have recovered, according to the authorities.
Officials also recorded 12 fatalities on Thursday, including that of a 19-year-old man. Nine of those were men, with five from Buenos Aires Province (ages 19, 60, 72, 75, 95), two from Buenos Aires City (84, 88) and two from Chaco (58, 75). All three women who died were from Buenos Aires Province (ages 52, 67, 89).
In total, 416 people have died from the virus to date.
Infectologists attribute the dramatic increase in cases to the arrival of the coronavirus in the crowded low-income neighbourhoods known as villas. In the capital, approximately 350,000 people live in shantytowns, many of which face problems with water and plumbing, job instability and overcrowding.
Another factor, according to epidemiologists, is the loosening of the mandatory lockdown measures put in place on March 20 by the government. In recent weeks, some provinces and businesses have been allowed to return to some form of activity, rather than just those that were deemed essential at the beginning of the lockdown.