Argentina passes one million coronavirus cases

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 07, 2020 an elderly man with symptoms of the new coronavirus is transferred from the Carpe Diem nursing home to a hospital in Buenos Aires. – Argentina surpassed one million coronavirus infections on October 19, 2020 despite the restrictions imposed by the government seven months ago to curb the spread of the virus in this country of 44 million inhabitants. (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AFP) — Argentina surpassed one million coronavirus cases Monday, with areas outside the capital Buenos Aires bearing the brunt of recent infections.

The latest report from the Ministry of Health showed 12,982 new infections in the previous 24 hours, pushing the total to 1,002,649.

The number of deaths stood at just over 26,700, while more than 800,000 infected people had already recovered.

Argentina — which in March suffered South America’s first coronavirus-related fatality — has the fifth-largest national case tally, behind the United States, India, Brazil, and Russia.

The majority of new infections are now being detected outside of Buenos Aires and its periphery, which is home to a third of Argentina’s 44 million inhabitants.

“There are multiple epidemics that are very different in their evolution,” Omar Sued, president of the Argentine Society of Epidemiology, told AFP.

“The evolution that exists today in Cordoba, for example, is very different from that of Buenos Aires, which is on a plateau and in decline.”

There are travel restrictions within the country, but no provinces are under strict quarantine. Stay-at-home orders were imposed in Buenos Aires early in the outbreak, but have since been lifted.

Schools across the country have used online teaching since March, but those in the capital have been gradually returning to normal this month.

The classes will be held in open courtyards and in a “bubble” of 10 pupils per group to prevent any outbreak from spreading beyond the circle, school authorities said.

© Agence France-Presse