Axel Kicillof sent “downhill” to the entire Buenos Aires suburbs. Through decree 181 published this Saturday in the Official Gazette, the Government of Buenos Aires joined the new restrictions promoted by President Alberto Fernández, which try to mitigate the impacts of the second wave of coronavirus in the AMBA. The Province made the 35 municipalities that surround the City of Buenos Aires fall into Phase 2 and concentrate almost 70% of the total population of the territory.
With more than 15 thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the records this Friday and an ICU bed occupancy above 74% in the GBA, the districts that make up the metropolitan area will suspend partial presence in schools, will prohibit the movement of citizens between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. the following day and gastronomy, bars, breweries or non-essential shops must close their doors between 7:00 p.m. and 6 o’clock the other day.
These were the measures that the governor tried to impose 10 days ago in the conclaves between the Province, City and Nation that took place after Easter, when the second wave of infections began to shake the epidemiological statistics and the health system began to show symptoms of stress.
Now the provincial map – according to the recent decree – is left with the Conurbano in the strictest phase; another 27 jurisdictions remain in phase 3; 66 communes appear in phase 4 and only seven localities with little population in the deep interior maintain phase 5.
The suspension of the teaching of classes with the presence of students is the most resisted decision, among those that are set in the new provision. On Friday there was a presentation of amparos in the Justice, rebellion of some schools – which announced the continuity for Monday, although the DNU of the Nation prohibits it -, demonstrations in front of the General Directorate of Schools, in La Plata and other institutional reactions.
Three GBA municipalities signed decrees to declare the educational activity an “essential service”. The mayors of Vicente López, Jorge Macri, of San Isidro, Gustavo Posse and of San Miguel, Jaime Méndez did so. They all belong to Together for Change and in the case of Macri he also filed an appeal before the Justice. The scope of the administrative decision on an area administered by the province is not clear. But it turns out a political position against the return to virtuality full in the teaching process.
According to the new scheme embodied in decree 181 signed by Kicillof, The operation of theaters, cinemas and cultural workshops will also be suspended. Maternity gardens, religious rituals in closed environments, gymnasiums and indoor swimming pools with ventilation will also be prohibited while this new quarantine is extended in those 35 municipalities. In addition to shopping malls, casinos and cultural or artistic events in the open air with limited attendance.
All these prohibitions -including presence in schools- they do not reach the 100 municipalities that are outside the AMBA Buenos Aires.
The limitations adopted by Kicillof are based on Executive Power Decree 241 that establishes “a series of measures aimed at containing and mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, in order to preserve public health, adopting, in this sense, provisions proportionate to the threat it faces, in a sectorized, reasonable and temporary manner ”. These are the announcements that Fernández presented in a recorded speech and that provoked a new confrontation with the government of Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
Only Buenos Aires and Formosa adhered to the severe closures promoted by the Nation. Kicillof questioned his colleague from Buenos Aires and assured that this strong wave of infections began in the City. That the private health system has “exploded” and that ICU beds in that segment “are over” and that is where 80% of the population of the Federal Capital is served. He attributed “opportunistic” intentions and a “vile attitude” to the head of government for resisting decisions aimed at reducing circulation in the urban centers with the highest growth of infections.
The administrative decision issued by the provincial Chief of Cabinet states that “measures similar to those adopted by the National Government, on a temporary and targeted basis, have been adopted in other countries on various continents, such as Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, France, Italy , Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Finland, Israel, Belgium, Switzerland, among others ”.
That the Province adheres because “they are reasonable and proportionate in relation to the threat and health risk that our country faces, and they are adopted temporarily.” It also anticipates that the government will grant up to 100,000 pesos “one time only” as assistance to Buenos Aires schools that require it to meet the expenses of educational material necessary to guarantee the non-face-to-face pedagogical continuity of students with fewer economic resources.
La Plata (Correspondent)
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