Argentina hits 10,000 coronavirus cases, outpaced by LatAm neighbors

Saturday, 2020-05-23 09:31:26
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A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past Puente de la Mujer during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 18, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
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Argentina surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday (May 22), after recording the highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic.

There are 10,649 cases, up by 718 from a day earlier, mostly in capital Buenos Aires, government data showed. The death toll is at 433.

The rate of daily confirmed infections has steadily increased in the last week, though Argentina is still heavily outpaced by its regional neighbors. Brazil has the highest infection rate on the continent and became the world no.2 hotspot in terms of case numbers on Friday, second only to the United States, after it confirmed that 330,890 people had been infected by the virus, overtaking Russia.

Brazil registered 1,001 daily coronavirus deaths on Friday, taking total deaths to 21,048, according to the Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, Mexico on Friday registered a record for coronavirus deaths on a single day, posting 479 more deaths along with 2,960 new infections, according to data from the health ministry.

Authorities have now reported 62,527 total cases of the coronavirus and 6,989 deaths since detecting the first cases in Mexico in late February.

Argentina has been under a mandatory lockdown in most parts of the country since March 20 and has one of the strictest travel bans in the world, blocking the sale and purchase of flights until September.

The government extended the lockdown until May 24 for some parts of the country, while relaxing some limited restrictions on movement and businesses.

The city of Buenos Aires, which has the highest concentration of cases in the country, is still under the toughest restrictions, though people have begun to venture out more as some business sectors reopen.

"The measures that were taken at the beginning were good, but due to the greater flexibility, many more people began to go out and today we are getting to what we did not want, the peak of infections," said Buenos Aires resident Alan Godoy, wearing a mask on the street outside a subway station.

"Unfortunately, we are in a country that lacks funds and people have to go out to work. It is reality," he said.