Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta outlined a host of new preventive measures on Monday to tackle the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the capital.
Confirming a decision announced Sunday by President Alberto Fernández, the Juntos por el Cambio leader ratified that schools would be closed in the capital. “From today until March 31 ... classes [will be suspended] in all educational establishments in the City,” he said at a press conference.
“I know that this is a difficult decision and that it impacts the everyday life of families, but it’s a necessary means to take care of all of us,” Rodríguez Larreta said, flanked by the City Education Minister Soledad Acuña, City Health Minister Fernán Quirós, and his Cabinet Chief Felipe Miguel.
Acuña pointed that students would receive a "digital" education, adding that City officials would provide activities for parents to do with their children at home.
“We have a digital library with more than 3.000 activities, digital books, audio books, videos and materials,” she said. "We have virtual classrooms, so that students and teachers can connect and work together on diverse content."
She also vowed that educational establishments would remain open to feed children “who are in a vulnerable situation and [normally] receive a meal at school.”
Miguel announced a series of measures that would curb “contagion risks, reduce circulation and avoid the concentration of person.”
He also had news for those who had planned nuptials in the coming weeks.
“We decided to diminish the amount of procedures and extend expiration dates of, for example, the VTV or the driver’s licence. In the case of weddings, they will have the possibility to change the date or to marry with the participation only of the witnesses,” he emphasised.
"The formalities with face-to-face and online modality will be able to be done only online," he highlighted.
In addition, he noted that they are working to expand the quantity of paperwork that can be done through Whatsapp, via the City’s chat service.
“We can also be able to call 147 to report people we know have travelled who are not in compliance with the mandatory quarantine. It’s important that we are responsible and that we take care of each other,” he stressed.
City authorities added that trade fairs and gastronomic markets “will remain open, but only for buying and withdrawing.”
“For the next two weeks the playgrounds in the squares and parks will remain closed,” they added.
Finally, Rodríguez Larreta said that the elderly, whom are at greater risk of the being infected with Covid019, “will receive attention during exclusive hours” in “banks, health centres and other service providers.”
"In the homes for the elderly, we have intensified the care they receive and established a regime where they can only be visited by direct family members," he concluded.