Argentina's second city resumes lockdown after virus cases spike
Buenos Aires (AFP) –
Argentina's second city Cordoba has rolled back on the easing of lockdown measures following a sharp spike in coronavirus infections, authorities said Tuesday.
Social isolation measures have been in place in Argentina since March 20, but some local and regional authorities were allowed to relax those, particularly in areas with few cases.
Cordoba, a city of 1.4 million people around 700 kilometers (435 miles) northwest of the capital Buenos Aires, authorized certain activities last week -- shops and hairdressers reopened, and visits to religious centers and weekend outings were allowed.
But authorities decided to return to the city's previous lockdown phase after reporting 55 new cases in the last three days.
"We're going to take a step back in the loosening. We ask for tolerance. Weekend leisure activities will remain suspended," said local health minister Diego Cardozo.
Shops must remain shut, and only essential business and industrial activity will be allowed to continue.
The new restrictions apply only to the city of Cordoba and not the rest of the province of the same name.
The measures will remain in effect until Sunday.
Argentina's number of coronavirus cases rose to 8,358 on Tuesday with 384 deaths.
Most cases have been recorded in the greater Buenos Aires area, where a third of Argentina's 45 million population lives. Cordoba province has reported 418 cases.
Several other cities also reversed loosening measures, including in Jacobacci, in Patagonia, where all mining activity, public works and private construction has been suspended.
© 2020 AFP