Argentina's Health Ministry reported 95,159 new infections of Covid-19 on Wednesday, setting a new record since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Authorities also confirmed 52 new fatalities, lifting the cumulative death toll to 117,346.
In total, 5,915,695 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded since the start of the pandemic. Over the past 24 hours, more than 170,000 tests were carried out, with a positivity rate of 55.76 percent – well above the World Health Organisation's recommended 10 percent.
Despite the surge – which experts are calling Argentina’s “third wave” of the pandemic and credit to the community circulation of the Delta and Omicron variants of the virus – deaths and hospitalisations remain low. Nevertheless, data on Wednesday showed a rise in the number of patients hospitalised in intensive care units (ICUs), totalling 1,396 patients. Bed occupancy rates in intensive care wards are up slightly, reaching 37.2 percent nationwide and 38.1 percent in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (AMBA).
Wednesday's total was the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic, breaking the previous day's high of 81,210 positive cases.
A total of 34,866 of Wednesday's cases were registered in the province of Buenos Aires, the nation's most populous region.
Provincial Health Minister Nicolás Kreplak on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of applying restrictive measures, despite the increase in infections, arguing that the rise in cases is not being replicated in the number of hospitalisations or deaths in the region, which has registered 2,291,466 infections since the start of the pandemic.
Córdoba Province registered 15,253 infections, while the nation's capital, Buenos Aires City, recorded 11,226 new cases and five deaths over the past 24 hours, raising its cumulative total to 621,000.
Since January 1, Argentina has required citizens and residents to have been vaccinated with at least two doses in order to attend large events or indoor venues, such as nightclubs. For now, the authorities have ruled out the imposition of new restrictions.
During the summer holidays, tens of thousands of tourists have flocked to resorts on the Atlantic coast, such as Mar del Plata, with scenes of crowded beaches and long lines at testing centres.
To date, more than 72 percent of the population in Argentina has received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, of which around 13 percent have already received a third booster shot.
ANMAT, Argentina's drug regulator, announced Wednesday that it had approved the use and sale of four rapid tests against Covid-19 that can be used at home, namely those manufactured by Abbot, Roche, Vyam Group and Wiene.
The Health Ministry must now regulate the use and implementation of the rapid tests, which will be sold in pharmacies across the country and purchased individually through public or private institutions or jurisdictions.