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ARGENTINA | 08-10-2020 17:56

Argentina records new daily high of 16,000 infections in 24 hours

More than 840,000 infections since pandemic began, with 22,226 fatalities. Brazil surpasses five million confirmed cases.

Argentina registered a record daily high of 16,447 coronavirus infections in 24 hours on Wednesday, pushing its total number of cases to date to 840,902.

The Health Ministry said that 401 deaths of individuals with Covid-19 had also been recorded, lifting the death toll to 22,226.

Currently the most affected areas in Argentina are cities in Buenos Aires Province, the northern region of Tucumán, Santa Fe and Córdoba provinces.

Up until August, the worst hit region was the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, the heavily population region where some 15 million people live, recording around 90 percent of infections. Today, that figure has dropped to 65 percent, with most active cases now in inland provinces. 

As of Wednesday evening, bed occupancy in Intensive care units (ICUs) stood at 62.8 percent nationwide and 63 percent in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, according to the Health Ministry.

Citizens has been under some form of quarantine and confinement since March 20, though the authorities have gradually relaxed the measures. President Alberto Fernández will make an announcement this Friday, detailing Argentina's next steps. 


Brazil hits five-million mark

Brazil surpassed five million coronavirus infections on Wednesday and is approaching 150,000 deaths from the disease, amid optimism the virus is slowing in the country.

The Health Ministry reported 31,553 new infections in the previous 24 hours, registering a total of 5,000,694 cases overall, behind only the United States and India.

Home to 212 million people, Brazil also counted 734 new deaths Wednesday, meaning the virus has claimed 148,228 lives since the country recorded its first death in March.

Brazil has the world's second-highest death toll from the disease after the US.

The country's curve appears to be descending, however. The average number of deaths per day for the past week was 610. The daily average rarely dipped below 1,000 per day from June through August.

The country averaged around 27,000 new infections per day over the past week. The average was over 40,000 in early September.

But experts agree that despite the downward trend, the situation in Brazil remains "worrying."

The fall in the number of cases "isn't yet sustained," University of Brasilia epidemiologist Mauro Sanchez told AFP.

"Therefore, there is an initial trend of decline, but it has yet to be confirmed," he said. 



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