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ARGENTINA | 06-05-2020 00:27

More than 5,000 confirmed coronavirus infections in Argentina

Health Ministry officials said that 134 new cases had been registered on Tuesday, lifting the total number of infections to 5,020. Death toll now stands at 264.

Argentina has now recorded more than 5,000 confirmed cases of the novel Covid-19 coronavirus.

Health Ministry officials said that 134 new cases had been registered on Tuesday, lifting the total number of infections to 5,020.

Of the new infections, 58 are from Buenos Aires Province, with 57 in Buenos Aires city. Chaco Province recorded 11 new cases, with four from Río Negro and single cases confirmed in Córdoba, Entre Ríos, Mendoza and Santa Fe. Corrientes also reclassified one case.

Two more fatalities from the virus were also recorded, officials said, lifting the death toll to 264. They were a 78-year-old man in Córdoba Province and a 76-year-old woman from Buenos Aires City. 

President Alberto Fernández put Argentina under a nationwide lockdown on March 20 in a bid to tackle the spread of the virus. Currently, those restrictions are set to expire on May 10, but the government is expected to extend it for at least another two weeks. Restrictions have started to be lifted in some provinces, though heavily populated urban centres are under stricter rules.

According to reports, the president will announce a two-week extension before the week is out, after a series of meetings with healthcare professionals, experts and governors. Some restrictions may be lifted, sources have said, though public and private gatherings will continue to be out be out of bounds. Classes will also remain closed. Shopping malls, cinemas and theatres will also remain shuttered.

More than 15,000 deaths in Latin America

More than 15,000 people have been killed by the novel coronavirus in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.

Across the region more than 282,000 Covid-19 cases have been officially reported as of midnight Tuesday.

Topping the death toll list is Brazil, with 7,921 fatalities and 114,715 cases; followed by Mexico with 2,271 fatalities and Ecuador with 1,569 deaths.

Experts believe that the pandemic will peak in Latin America in the coming days. 

Several countries, including Ecuador, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, have extended their lockdown measures in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus.

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) has asked governments to be "cautious" when they begin to loosen restrictions, warning that virus transmission remains "very high" in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Mexico.

Brazil was the first country in the region to report a case of the novel coronavirus on February 26. The patient was a 61 year-old man who had been traveling in Lombardy, one of Italian regions most affected by the pandemic.

The International Monetary Fund said they expect a 5.2 percent GDP contraction across the region due to the coronavirus crisis.

Alejandro Werner, head of the IMF's Western Hemisphere section, said the region faces the spectre of another "lost decade" between 2015-25, comparable to the no-growth era of the 1980s.

The Covid-19 virus has killed more than 254,000 people around the world and infected more than 3.6 million people.

– TIMES/NA

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