A reckless love affair in these crazy coronavirus times created some angry neighbours and left two locations in the north of Argentina under lockdown earlier this week.
The town of Selva and the city of Ceres, which are around 700 kilometres away from the capital, have already been in isolation for nearly almost a week now, as a consequence of an amorous encounter involving an old flame and the Covid-19 coronavirus.
The 2,700 residents of Selva were placed under lockdown on Saturday, as were the 25,000 people who live in Ceres. Residents in the area know each other well enough, they're separated from each other by just 17 kilometres on either side of the provincial border – the former lies in Santiago del Estero, while the latter is in Santa Fe.
"We are quarantined merely pre-emptively, because today we do not have a confirmed case of coronavirus. But we do have 19 people in isolation, all asymptomatic," said Alejandra Dupouy, the mayor of Ceres, on Wednesday.
"They had been at a party Friday night and had primary contact with a young man who had been in Córdoba with a person who tested positive," he explained.
Originally, quarantine was strict in Ceres, but on Wednesday it was decided "to make the measure more flexible so that veterinarians can go to the countryside," Dupouy said in an interview with El Destape Radio.
Reckless love affair
The story begins around 10 days ago when a woman from Córdoba, who had just returned from Spain, got in touch with 27-year-old Danilo from Selva. The young man then travelled to the city of Córdoba to meet the woman and they spent a few days together.
Upon returning to Selva, the man then attended an asado – with 19 other people. There, he allegedly shared tales of his recent 'experiences.' At one point, he reportedly commented on how his lover had recently returned from Spain and as talk turned to the coronavirus, he mentioned she had symptoms similar to those for Covid-19.
According to secondhand reports of the event, the young man's friends couldn't believe what they were hearing. Some walked out. It was one of the man's fellow diner's who eventually made a complaint, activating the government's Covid-19 protocol and engaging local officials.
Santiago del Estero Province Governor Gerardo Zamora, posted images on social media this week, showing the town's empty streets.
"This is the city of Selva today, quarantined and absolutely isolated. All because of two people who, in the city of Córdoba, violated mandatory quarantine [regulations]. We must comply with the mandatory measures, to prevent any possible circulation of Covid-19," he wrote in a post on Twitter.
A daily update from Santiago del Estero's Health Ministry said Wednesday that Selva remained under quarantine, due to "a suspicious case that had made contact with countless people."
The scandal doesn't end there either – La Nación reported that many angry locals were refusing to comply with the quarantine and that Santa Fe officials had asked for the Army to come in and help guarantee social distancing.
In Argentina, the number of coronavirus cases has increased to 97. Three deaths have been recorded to date.