Health Minister Carla Vizzotti warned ominously this week that it will be “impossible to hold back” the Delta variant of Covid-19 from reaching Argentina and circulating among residents.
“Delta is impossible to be contained – there are more than 100 countries that already have it, it’s been a great achievement for Argentina to delay it until now. We have 10 isolated cases of people who have had no contact with travellers," Vizzotti told the A24 news channel in an interview .
On Tuesday, the minister had said that the strain, first identified in India, is “close” to circulating in the community, though it is not yet predominant.
Buenos Aires City Health Minister Fernán Quirós also cautioned residents to keep taking precautions, adding that it is "a matter of days or weeks" before the variant is circulating in the nation's capital. He said four individuals known to City Hall had been infected with the strain, though they had no "epidemiological link" to others who had Delta.
The Buenos Aires Province government confirmed Wednesday that a case of more contagious variant contagion via community circulation had been identified in the southern Greater Buenos Aires district of Lanús.
Others at the individual’s place of work in the City of Buenos Aires also picked up the virus, revealed Buenos Aires Province Health Minister Nicolás Kreplak, adding: "It’s a case of a person who has not travelled, i.e. community transmission."
"There are two other cases of community transmission with families in Greater Buenos Aires detected in the City with their families figuring as close contacts. We are trying to ascertain whether any of these has the Delta variant but for now we have found nothing," added Kreplak, warning: "The community transmission has begun."
During a press conference in the Buenos Aires provincial capital of La Plata, the minister said that there are currently 58 confirmed cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus, of whom 55 are returned travellers who are mostly in strict isolation in hotels while two others are members of their families who managed to contract the virus before they began their isolation.
Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof has urged City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta to isolate everybody returning from abroad in hotels. "We call for all precautions to be applied, no matter how unpleasant," he said Wednesday.
Lanús Health Secretary Gustavo Sieli affirmed that an epidemiological tracking of the 39-year-old patient had been carried out in order to identify the origin of the contagion. It was confirmed that neither the man nor his family had established contact with other neighbours following infection.
“The nuclear family is evolving correctly,” informed Sieli in a radio interview on Tuesday, following confirmation of the case.
Last Monday a second person infected with Covid’s Delta strain died in Córdoba – a woman of 38 infected by the "zero patient" (a man of 62) who had shunned quarantine and died last weekend. Both had decided against vaccination.
According to reports on friday, at least 60 people in Córdoba have been infected with Delta, a fact that has resulted in more than 1,000 individuals being isolated.
“We’re following the evolution of the Delta variant very closely and we will continue isolating return travellers. Today we have to say that we are on the brink of having community circulation of the Delta variant but it does not predominate. The predominant strain is [the] Manaus [strain],” said Vizzotti.