A doctor on the government's Covid-19 advisory committee has called on citizens to do all they can to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Argentina, warning that it is “probable” that the country will be hit by a “second wave” of cases net year.
In comments reported by the Noticias Argentinas news agency, Doctor Luis Camera said the likelihood of a second wave was high, speculating it could arrive in the Autumn.
Camera is a member of the special committee that advises the government on health measures related to the coronavirus pandemic.
"If we see what happens in Europe and the United States, the possibility of a second wave is quite probable," Camera told a local radio station.
A possible increase in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19, he predicted, "could occur in the Autumn, in March or April."
Camera, who works at the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, highlighted the role vaccination against the disease could play, though he said by that time “many people will still need to be vaccinated."
The challenge would be to get vaccines “soon as possible, in the largest number of doses and at the best price,” he said.
“It is a rather difficult equation because the bid is going to be enormous. The virus is a formidable enemy that is making us suffer a lot," said Camera.
The specialist warned that all citizens should “take care” as much as possible and follow recommended sanitary protocols.
To date, more than 1.3 million people in Argentina have been infected with Covid-19, with more than 35,000 fatalities.
Health Ministry officials did offer some good news in their daily update, revealing that for the first time since the start of the pandemic – now in its 45th week in Argentina – there had been a decrease in the number of people admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) with a positive diagnosis.
"We reached a maximum average per epidemiological week of 5,119 people in intensive care," said Health Access Secretary Carla Vizzotti, compared to Monday’s figure of 4,365.
Speaking in an online interview on Monday, President Alberto Fernández offered his thoughts on how to deal with a potential second wave, saying that was one of the key reasons why he was so keen to launch a mass vaccination programme in Argentina.
The Peronist leader told journalist Marco Enríquez-Ominami that he wanted to vaccinate “the largest number of people between January and February so that in March, when the moment of the second wave arrives, the risk of contagion will subside."
Regarding the distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which will be co-produced in Argentina and Mexico, he said that "it will be distributed on equal and equitable terms."