Covid-19: Argentina finally sees a way out of the crisis

the essential Argentina, one of the countries most affected in the world by the Covid pandemic – 19, sees an exit crisis. The number of contaminations is constantly decreasing.

For the first time in a year, on 23 September, Argentina did not deplore any Covid victim – 19. This is good news which is part of the positive dynamic of this country which, despite the southern winter, has seen the number of deaths and contaminations decrease significantly. Argentina has long squatted the Top 10 countries in the world with the most deaths per million inhabitants. But she may be able to convince herself that the worst is behind her.

This is in any case what reads in the change of attitude of Peronist President Alberto Fernandez, who had shown the greatest firmness, at the start of the pandemic, imposing the almost total closure of borders and an interminable lockdown. Some of his relatives do not hesitate, today, to shout “victory” over the Covid – 17. Newly appointed head of the cabinet of ministers (a sort of prime minister), Juan Manzur declared: “If the figures continue like this, we will be moving towards the end of the pandemic”. What arouse the skepticism of the conservative press and the opposition. “Argentina was the country of the longest and strictest quarantine in the world (…) and it became the first country in Latin America to declare a virtual post-pandemic. The decision is electoral and dangerously premature, ”according to columnist Joaquín Morales Solá de La Nación.

The return of foreign visitors

The “decision” in question: the lifting of multiple health restrictions. Even more than the end of wearing a mask outdoors or the extension of night-time hours, the gradual opening of borders to foreigners foreshadows a breath of fresh air for the hotel, catering and tourism sectors: first with border countries in October, then the rest of the world in November. “The return of foreign audiences, especially Brazilian neighbors, is great news for our sector,” confirms to La Dépêche Alberto Da Silva, one of the bosses of “Jérôme”, a chain of beer bars with several branches in the trendy and international districts of the city. This opening comes at a time when the vaccination campaign, which has long stammered, has since made good progress: nearly 50% of Argentines have a complete vaccination schedule, i.e. the fourth rate in the south. American, behind Chile, Uruguay and Ecuador.

The electoral rout suffered by the government is undoubtedly for something in this sudden flexibilisation. On 12 September, during the compulsory primary elections (PASO) in preparation for the November generals, Peronism lost in 17 of 24 provinces of the country. Did the people sanction the management of the pandemic? “The electorate’s priority was the economic question and the government’s campaign did not focus on that, nuance for La Dépêche Facundo Cruz, Argentine political scientist and political consultant. The country is undergoing a crisis that has dragged on for several years. The pandemic has worsened an already very bad economic situation. ”

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