Wednesday, June 19, 2024

ARGENTINA | 24-04-2021 00:27

Fernández and Kicillof hold urgent meeting as ICU wards fill up

Tighter restrictions may be on cards, with government leaders concerned by latest surge in Covid-19 fatalities.

President Alberto Fernández and Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof held an emergency meeting on Friday, with places in intensive care units (ICUs) in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area (AMBA) few and far between.

With the daily coronavirus death toll breaking new records, the two leaders sat down along with their respective Cabinet chiefs, Santiago Cafiero and Carlos Bianco, as well as deputy provincial health minister Nicolás Kreplak to analyse the situation and the latest data.

As reported by government sources to the Noticias Argentinas news agency, everyone present at the meeting agreed that the lack of controls from the Buenos Aires City government was exacerbating the crisis. According to the sources, even stricter measures to combat the second wave of Covid-19 were not ruled out. They could be adopted after current restrictions lapse at the end of this month.

Kicillof and his team arrived at the Casa Rosada at 5.30pm yesterday afternoon, soon after hearing the news of 27,884 confirmed cases of contagion and the record number of 557 deaths in the last 24 hours amid increased occupation of intensive care beds – improving access to the latter, especially in Greater Buenos Aires where 76.2 percent of these beds are now occupied, thus became a central issue of the meeting. 

The provincial governor is now said to lean towards a total lockdown, similar to the beginnings of the pandemic last year, to tackle the crisis.

Earlier in the day Buenos Aires Province Security Minister Sergio Berni, had called for "a true quarantine to curtail the velocity of contagion," given the possibility of the public and private health systems being overwhelmed throughout the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area , spelling out “a true quarantine” as Phase 1 on the Radio Rivadavia programme Alguien tiene que decirlo (“Somebody has to say it”) led by Eduardo Feinmann.

"I do not say this lightly but with scientific reasoning," said the ex-Army doctor, warning: "We’ve practically reached the limit and the future projections are very bad."



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