Argentina mourns loss of 100,000 from Covid-19
Sixteen months and 11 days after the first case of Covid-19 was recorded on national territory, Argentina on Wednesday became the fifth Latin American country to reach the grim landmark of 100,000 deaths.
The government this week decreed five days of national mourning, in tribute to the more than 100,000 people who have lost their lives after being infected with Covid-19.
The Casa Rosada made the announcement in a notice published on Thursday morning in the Official Gazette, the morning after the Health Ministry confirmed that the grim landmark had been reached.
Decree 459/2021, signed by President Alberto Fernández and Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero, said the move was recognition of the “immense pain that runs through the whole of society, for each and every one of our people who were fatal victims of the pandemic.” It described the coronavirus pandemic as “a real tragedy that plagues humanity,” and said it was “necessary to have a period of national mourning to allow us to remember and commemorate the deceased.”
Argentina, with around 45 million inhabitants, has now registered 101,158 deaths, with a total of 4,737,213 cases reported since the virus first arrived here in March 2020.
Worldwide, the country ranks eighth for total confirmed cases and 11th for fatalities. For both infections and deaths per one million inhabitants, Argentina is 13th.
“From the epidemiological point of view, I cannot find an explanation [for it]. We are a team of 60 researchers who work, manage and advise all the hospitals in the country except in Buenos Aires, but there is no explanation” for this death toll, infectologist and epidemiologist Hugo Pizzi told the AFP news agency.
“I am an academic totally removed from political issues and I cannot find an explanation for it. Perhaps making an inventory of all the stumbles and all the problems we had, in the future we can find out why,” added Pizzi, who has a doctorate in public health and is a professor at the National University of Córdoba.
‘EACH HAD A NAME’
“Each of these individuals had a name, a life, relatives, male friends, female friends and affections,” read Thursday’s decree, in which Fernández urges Argentines to become aware “of the need to attend to personal and collective care.”
During the period of national mourning, the national flag will is flown at half mast at all public buildings. Calling for unity, the government called in the decree for the continuation and “rapid advance” of “the largest vaccination campaign in the history of the country.”
In recent weeks, Argentina’s immunisation campaign has picked up, following the arrival of millions of doses of the Sputnik V, Sinopharm and Astrazeneca vaccines. The government earlier this week confirmed it had ordered 20 million doses of the Moderna shot, with anticipated arrival in early 2022, while the United States confirmed Friday it was sending 3.5 million doses of the same jab as part of its vaccine diplomacy campaign.
As of Wednesday, 21,589,098people have received at least one vaccine dose, around 60 percent of the population aged over 18 years of age or 45 percent of the total population. Of the vaccinated, 5,276,515 people are completely immunised, according to Argentina’s Public Vaccination Monitor webpage.