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Quarantine in Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area scheduled to end


Quarantine in Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area scheduled to end

Argentina Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Argentina’s nationwide quarantine is scheduled to end today.

The government first instituted a national lockdown in response to rising COVID-19 infections in late March and has since extended the lockdown ten times. The lockdown, which has been frustrating residents of Buenos Aires, has prompted a near-total halt of economic activity across the country. More than 42,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have gone bankrupt since March and the country faces projected inflation and contraction rates of 43% and 12% in 2020, respectively.

Extending the lockdown beyond August will further constrain the recovery timeline, and, Argentina’s printing of pesos to pay for stimulus measures is raising fears of hyperinflation. However, authorities recently registered record daily highs of over 10,500 new infections and 382 deaths, suggesting that re-opening still carries a substantial public health risk. Thus far, the government has concluded a deal with private creditors to restructure its $65 billion debt and opened negotiations regarding a $57 billion IMF loan on August 26. With creditor backing and a probable refinancing agreement from the IMF, the Argentinian government will likely prioritise public health over the economy and extend the lockdown further.

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