With more than 80,000 dead, Argentines struggle under the weight of COVID-19
By Miguel Lo Bianco
BUENOSAREAS -For lawyer Lidia Alverisi, from Argentina COVIDThe pandemic of -19 made an almost unbearable toll.
“We all lost someone, someone we knew well,” she told Reuters. “In my case, it’s friends I’ve known for 40 years who left in just 10 days.
The South American country is engulfed in a second wave of the virus that began in mid-February and is pushing hospitals close to saturation point and its citizens to despair.
As of Friday evening, Argentina had confirmed 80,411 deaths among its 45 million citizens from the disease, with a total of 3.9 million cases.
Currently, it ranks third in the world for average daily number of cases, with more cases recorded per capita than regional giant Brazil.
The government has struggled to strike a balance between lockdowns and sustaining the already struggling economy, as well as carrying out a vaccination campaign that has been slow to start and doctors say they will fail to lower infection rates for several months.
“I think deaths could have been avoided if the government had focused more on vaccines and if people had respected the blockages more,” said student Martina Dawin, 17.
Others, however, believe the government’s priority should have been to protect people from further economic hardship after three consecutive years of recession.
Diego Peralta has said he voted for left-wing Argentine president Alberto Fernandez but lost his faith due to the prolonged lockdowns. “I feel bad for my fellow citizens who are going through a bad patch, but COVID-19 is secondary when there is no food to give to your child, ”he said.
Argentina vaccinates its citizens against COVID-19 with Russian vaccines Sputnik V, the AstraZeneca jab developed with the University of Oxford and Sinopharm of Chinese manufacture.
Since the campaign began on Christmas Eve last year, the country has carried out 13.4 million vaccinations, although only about 3 million people have received the full double dose.
Argentina’s Health Minister Carla Vizzotti insisted that although the death toll remained alarming, the drop in the number of over 60s who received vaccines first among them was a sign that the country was moving in the right direction.
Infectious disease specialist Dr Roberto Debbag said there was still some way to go.
“We will have high or medium-high numbers until more than 30 or 40 percent of the population has been vaccinated with two doses,” he said. “I don’t think that will happen in the space of the next three months.”