The Health Ministry confirmed Friday that two new Covid-19 cases with the Delta variant had been detected by migration officials, as Argentina’s death toll reached 95,000.
Fears of a rapid spread of the Delta variant, which has been detected in 85 countries worldwide and is believed to be the most contagious strain of the novel coronavirus, prompted the government last week to place further restrictions on the entry of citizens and residents to national territory. Only 600 individuals a day can now cross Argentina’s borders, which are currently closed to tourists.
The two Delta cases, according to the government, were detected in two adult residents who recently returned to the country from the United States and Venezuela.
Both had previously tested negative for Covid-19 before boarding a plane to Argentina and their tests carried out after landing at Ezeiza international airport also came back clean. However, both began showing symptoms a few days after arrival. New tests confirmed they were positive for the virus and both individuals are now in isolation, said the Health Ministry.
Argentina, with around 45 million inhabitants, has recorded more than 4.5 million infections since March 2020 and 95,382 deaths.
On Friday, the Health Ministry confirmed 20,888 new cases over the preceding 24 hours and 614 fatalities. The highest figures were recorded as usual in Buenos Aires Province (6,302 new cases), followed by the provinces of Córdoba (2,356 cases) and Santa Fe (1,736 cases). Buenos Aires City registered 1,315 infections.
A total of 5,784 people remain in intensive care units (ICUs) with Covid-19, with bed occupancy in these wards standing at 66.2 percent nationwide and 64.6 percent in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area (AMBA).
The government’s mass vaccination campaign has picked up pace in recent weeks. More than 13 million inhabitants have now been given one dose, while 4.2 million have received both shots.