Buenos Aires City Health Minister Fernán Quirós expressed concern over the upward trend of Covid infections in Buenos Aires City and Argentina on Wednesday, as he called on porteños to take care over the holiday season.
He did, however, praise City residents for their take up of Covid-19 vaccinations, saying that the percentage of those who had not received a shot against the virus in the capital "practically does not exist."
Covid infections nationwide were were up 75 percent last week from the previous seven days, according to the Health Ministry, with 9,336 reported on Tuesday – a rise of almost 4,000 on the previous day and the highest daily tally since August 19.
Dr Quirós, speaking to CNN Radio, said Wednesday that the Delta variant was behind the recent surge, though most experts expect the Omicron strain to begin spreading more rapidly in the coming weeks.
"Cases are increasing significantly" in Argentina and the Federal Capital, said the minister, who said the relatively low level of fatalities was "due to the protection provided by the vaccine".
He also observed that a similar spike in infections had been recorded in December last year and that the rise was also due to "greater social interaction."
Quirós said residents should continue to use facemasks in closed spaces and while, "we all need to socialise," people still need to "take care of themselves."
The health minister said that vaccination against Covid-19 is the most important tool society had to tackle the spread of the virus, observing that 84 percent of City residents had been inoculated with two doses. "The group of those who do not want to be vaccinated in the City practically does not exist," he observed.
Regarding the application of third doses, he clarified that boosters should be applied five months after the completion of an individual's vaccination schedule.
On Wednesday, City Hall also announced that it would only partially adhere to the National Government's introduction of a Covid health pass for events. It will only ask for proof of vaccination (with two doses) for massive events and entrance to nightclubs, it confirmed.
"In the city of Buenos Aires, introducing a broader health pass it is not justified," said City Cabinet Chief Felipe Miguel.