Alberto Fernandez privileged public health again and decided to extend the mandatory quarantine until April 26 inclusive. It will be the third consecutive phase of confinement and the President does not rule out a fourth phase, which will depend on a single statistical fact: the curve of the pandemic. If the number of infected and dead falls in a robust and continuous cycle, the quarantine will be relaxed and then will end. Otherwise, the head of state will order a new phase, which will include the first days of May.
Alberto Fernandez will receive his team of experts in Olivos today to analyze from a scientific perspective a political decision that he has practically already made, after a long meeting with the ministers Santiago Cafiero, Wado de Pedro, Matias Kulfas, Gines Gonzalez Garcia, Martin Guzman and the Secretaries Vilma Ibarra, Cecilia Todesca and Juan Pablo Biondi.
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The Argentine scientists will enter at 15 from Villate street and half an hour later they will be received by Alberto Fernandez in the Meeting Room of Olivos. The President does not go a day without chatting with this committee of experts, and His face-to-face consultation aims to ratify the importance he attaches to the scientific advice he receives since the beginning of the health crisis.
The committee recommended continuing the mandatory quarantine and Alberto Fernandez accepted that strategy as the only known method to contain the deadly advance of the virus that was awakened in China. If there are no abrupt changes, caused by the relentless action of the coronavirus, the scientists will guarantee that the confinement will continue until April 26 inclusive.
“Is the extent of the quarantine related to the projection that the curve of infected and dead may have?” I ask Infobae to the president.
“From what they explain to me, the longer the quarantine lasts, the flatter the curve will be. Quarantine slows contagion. Not only because there is no contact, but also because the asymptomatic ones let the virus cycle run until immunized, without linking with the others. That is the reason ”, answered Alberto Fernandez.
When the meeting with the experts concludes and there are no loose ends, the head of state will announce the extension of the mandatory quarantine until April 26.
The format of the announcement has not yet been decided, but Alberto Fernandez intends that a new Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) be published in the Official Gazette on April 11, explaining in legal terms all the political, economic and social decisions he took after a week of constant consultations with governors, mayors, legislators, scientists and representatives of the CGT, the UIA and the CAC.
The presidential decision-making regarding the pandemic has a basic line of reasoning: social contact must be avoided to calm the voracious levels of contagion that the coronavirus has in its genetic code.
So from this perspective, the DNU authorizing phase III of the confinement will include very little of the suggestions presented to the government by the General Confederation of Labor, the Argentine Industrial Union and the Argentine Chamber of Commerce. Alberto Fernandez refuses to relax the quarantine and did not move an inch from his personal position.
An example will explain the position of the head of state facing the current evolution of the pandemic. Despite CGT requests and suggestions, civil works will not be authorized. “It would have meant a transfer of thousands of workers from the suburbs to the Federal Capital, and this traffic could complicate the coronavirus containment strategy. So we discard it “, argued a cabinet member who spent hours yesterday in Olivos.
The very limited inclusion of the recommendations provided by the CGT, the UIA and the CAC, with the exception of banking activity that will have exceptional rules, was determined through a series of reports that Kulfas and Gonzalez Garcia presented to the president. Each of these officials made an argument -economic and health- of all the productive sectors, and in the end Alberto Fernandez accepted or ruled out the activities that could be included in the easing of phase III of the confinement.
In this sense, the head of state applied an ultra restrictive concept: You will not be able to go to the dentist’s office, nor open the restaurants even if they had few enabled tables and a compulsory reservation was necessary. There will also be no freeway for dog walkers, groomers, manicures, gyms, public shows, and outdoor activities (running, walking, biking).
Alberto Fernandez sleeps four hours a day and assumes that this new quarantine extension will be key to keeping the coronavirus curve flat. He recognizes in the privacy of Olivos that the crucial moment of the pandemic is approaching and does not stop reviewing the numbers of contagion and the number of beds, Intensive Care Units (ICUs), respirators and tests that are available to the National State.
The President has two fears that accompany him all day: that the health system does not support the deadly onslaught of the coronavirus and that food is not enough in the most affected neighborhoods of the suburbs.
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