Argentina becomes fourth country with highest number of COVID-19 infections

Argentine authorities have confirmed 16,350 new cases in the last few hours, making it the country with the fourth highest number of daily infections
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REUTERS/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN  -   A woman receives a dose of Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Parque Tecnópolis in Buenos Aires

The Argentine Ministry of Health has reported 16,350 cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, a figure that would have surpassed the 3.3 million cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, 240 new deaths from COVID-19 have been reported.

These figures have placed Argentina in fourth place in the ranking of countries with the highest number of infections, behind India, Brazil and the United States. In terms of incidence rates of positive cases in relation to the population, Argentina would have a rate of 489 new infections per million inhabitants, making it the fifth highest incidence rate in the world. The new infection numbers have been reported by the Our World in Data website and correspond to cases reported between 9 and 15 May, so infection figures may have increased.

The province of Buenos Aires has reported the highest number of infections in recent hours with an official figure of 5,415 infected, followed by Cordoba, the city of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe. 
 

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AP/NATACHA PISARENKO - Dr. Norberto Raúl Piacentini Hospital in Lomas de Zamora, Argentina. As Argentina experiences a record number of cases of COVID-19, hospitals struggle to keep up with demand

According to the epidemiological report, 5,538 people have been admitted to intensive care due to the coronavirus. At the national level, the percentage of bed occupancy has risen to 69.3% as a result of the increase in infections, and in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires it has reached 75.4%. In this sense, Argentina is experiencing a second wave of the pandemic marked by hospital collapse. The governor of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillof, stated that priority should not be given only to the supply of respirators in hospitals, since the problem lies in those who enter intensive care, since "unfortunately they have a not so high probability of survival. The issue is to stop contagions".

In this context, Buenos Aires plans to start vaccinating people with risk factors in the 55-59 age group in the next few days. The exact date of vaccination is not yet known, as it depends on the number of vaccines arriving in the country and destined for the city.
 

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REUTERS/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN  -  A shipment of doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Ezeiza International Airport, Buenos Aires, Argentina 28 January 2021

Argentina's health minister, Carla Vizzoti, said that a total of 4.8 million vaccines from AstraZeneca should arrive in the country before the end of the month. Of this total, 861,000 are to be delivered through the COVAX system. Currently, 1,904,220 people have already been inoculated with two doses of vaccine.

Latin America Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra.