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07 Apr 2020 | 08:09 AM UTC

Argentina: Masks required in La Rioja and Jujuy as of April 6, 10 /update 7

Face masks required in Jujuy and La Rioja due to COVID-19 outbreak starting April 6, 10; follow authority directives

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Event

As of Monday, April 6, individuals in La Rioja are required to wear face masks in the public space to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. Medical masks are not required, and authorities have suggested home-made fabric masks and scarves to serve as alternatives. Those in Jujuy must comply with the same policy as of Friday, April 10. Lack of compliance will result in a fine of 1000 Argentine pesos (USD 15.40).

Argentinian President Alberto Fernández has announced an extension to the nationwide quarantine until Sunday, April 12, initially implemented on Friday, March 20. During the quarantine, all individuals will be required to remain at home unless going out to purchase basic goods. Only bakeries, supermarkets, pharmacies, public and private hospitals, and service stations will be allowed to operate. Police officers will be deployed to enforce the quarantine. Borders were closed to all non-residents on Sunday, March 15, and all flights from Europe and the US were suspended for at least 30 days from Tuesday, March 17.

As of Tuesday, April 7, there are 1628 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, including 53 deaths and 325 recoveries. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.