Argentina

Regional News • Americas • South America
Argentina's President Alberto Fernández tests positive for Covid-19 in rapid test
Alberto Fernández receiving the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
Alberto Fernández receiving the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine Credit: Esteban Collazo/Casa Rosada

The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, reported in the early hours of Saturday, April 3rd that he tested positive for Covid-19 after showing symptoms of the disease. Fernández had the two doses of the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.

"For everyone's information, I am physically fine and, although I wanted to end my birthday without this news, I am also in a good mood," posted the president of Argentina, who thanked for the messages of congratulations.

"We believe we are starting the second wave, with a sustained increase in cases, which causes concern," Health Minister Carla Vizzotti told a radio station on Friday.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Argentina has formally withdrawn from the Lima Group
Argentinean Flag
Argentinean Flag Credit: Érico Andrei (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement in which it stressed that, since the arrival of Alberto Fernández to the Casa Rosada, "Argentina has never participated in meetings or signed documents" of the Lima Group and emphasised that his administration "the only thing it has done" with respect to this alliance was to "distance itself". "Once again, we reiterate that the best way to help Venezuelans is to facilitate an inclusive dialogue that does not favour any particular sector, but rather to achieve elections accepted by the majority with international control," the letter from the San Martín Palace states.

Argentina also maintains that, in "a context in which the pandemic has wreaked havoc in the region, the sanctions and blockades imposed on Venezuela and its authorities, as well as the destabilisation attempts that occurred in 2020, have only aggravated the situation of its population and, in particular, that of its most vulnerable sectors".

Regional News • Americas • South America
Argentinean government announced that flights from Brazil, Chile and Mexico will be suspended.
Aerolineas Argentinas plane
Aerolineas Argentinas plane Credit: Andrew W. Sieber (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Argentinean government on Friday formalized the suspension of flights from Brazil, Chile and Mexico, due to the increasing cases of Covid-19 in those countries, and the circulation of new strains. The new measure starts on Saturday.

The government's objective is to reduce the number of trips during Easter Week, a time when many citizens tend to travel around the country or abroad, which in this case is the main concern.

Regional News • Americas • South America
The van carrying Argentinean President Alberto Fernández was attacked with stones.

Dozens of protesters kick and throw rocks at a mini-bus carrying Argentine President Alberto Fernandez on Saturday as he visited an area devastated by forest fires.

The incidents were verified on two occasions. The first was just after landing, on the way to the Lago Puelo operations centre.

The second was on the President's journey from that centre, where he met with authorities and journalists. As a result of the attack, a National Parks van and another from the Federal Police without identification were broken.

Technology • Internet & Web
Study: Bitcoin has higher electricity usage than the country of Argentina
Study: Bitcoin has higher electricity usage than the country of Argentina
Credit: Viktor Forgacs

According to research by scientists at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Bitcoin mining consumes around 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) electricity per year in order to generate new Bitcoins and verify transactions on the blockchain.

This ranks Bitcoin’s electricity consumption above Argentina (121 TWh), the Netherlands (108.8 TWh) and the United Arab Emirates (113.20 TWh) - and it is gradually creeping up on Norway (122.20 TWh).

Regional News • Americas • South America
Argentina health minister forced fo resigned amid Covid-19 vaccine scandal
Gines Gonzalez Garcia
Gines Gonzalez Garcia Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Gines Gonzalez Garcia, Argentina's health minister, resigned on Friday following reports that people had been able to use connections to access Covid-19 vaccines to which they were not entitled.

Garcia said in a letter posted on Twitter that individuals were able to sidestep proper procedure for vaccinations due to "unintended confusion" in his office while he was away.

Earlier this month, Peru's health and foreign ministers quit and its former president was placed under criminal investigation after reports of hundreds of Peruvian officials and others receiving vaccine doses outside of clinical trials and before the national immunization program began.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Former Argentine President Carlos Menem died on Sunday
Carlos Saúl Menem
Carlos Saúl Menem Credit: Argentine Senate (Public Domain)

Carlos Menem, 90 years old, has died after battling long-term health problems.

Menem took office in July 1989 and promoted laws to reform the government and the economy after his predecessor, Raúl Alfonsín, resigned in the middle of a deep financial crisis caused by hyperinflation. Menem privatized some companies that had been under state authority until that point and was able to get inflation under control.

Menem left office in 1999 after unsuccessfully trying to modify the constitution to run for a third term. He ran again for the presidency in 2003, obtaining the highest percentage of votes during the first round of elections, but ultimately decided against advancing to the second round.

Technology • Internet & Web
Google to pay UK publishers for news
Google logo
Google logo Credit: Rajeshwar Bachu

Google has launched Google News Showcase in the UK and Argentina, offering selected paywall content to users for free. News Showcase is already available in Germany, Brazil and, as of last week, Australia. Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, said the program would help the company pay $1 billion to publishers over the next three years.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Argentinean President Alberto Fernández received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
Alberto Fernández receiving the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
Alberto Fernández receiving the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine Credit: Esteban Collazo/Casa Rosada

The Argentinean President Alberto Fernández received Thursday the first dose of the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.

After a controversy over whether studies would come from Moscow to support the use of the vaccine in people over 60, the National Administration of Drugs, Food and Medical Technology (Anmat) on Wednesday authorised its use in the age group most at risk from the coronavirus.

On Monday, the government released an official timetable promising that another 4.7 million Russian Sputnik V vaccine doses will arrive in the country before the end of the month. The schedule for the delivery of the vaccine announced by the government began in December with the arrival of 300,000 doses and continues in January with 5,000,000 more (300,000 were delivered on the last Saturday), while another 14,700,000 are expected in February.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK bans travellers from South America
UK bans travellers from South America
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The UK has banned people who are from or have travelled through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela in the last 10 days. The ban will come into force from Friday and is due to a new variant identified in Brazil. British, Irish and foreign nations may enter the country but must isolate for 10 days.

Science • Medicine
Argentina starts distribution of hyperimmune equine serum to treat COVID-19
Argentina starts distribution of hyperimmune equine serum to treat COVID-19

The serum is obtained by injecting horses with SARS-CoV-2 protein, which causes the animal to generate a large amount of neutralizing antibodies. On trials it reduced mortality by 45%, internment by 24% and respiratory assistance by 36%.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Legal abortion is approved in Argentina
Legal abortion is approved in Argentina
Credit: unsplash.com / daniel james

The higher chamber of Argentinean congress approved overnight the bill that introduces legal abortion before the 14th week of pregnancy, or in case of mother's health risk, or if the pregnancy is caused by rape. The final score of the senators' votes was 39 supporters against 29.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Vaccination starts in Argentina, with 300.000 units of Sputnik V vaccines
Vaccination starts in Argentina, with 300.000 units of Sputnik V vaccines
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The national immunization plan against coronavirus was launched today throughout Argentina, after an operation to distribute 300,000 doses of the Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccine.

"It is a day of great joy, we must not lose hope because the vaccines will continue to arrive," said Health Minister Ginés Gonzáles García from the Posadas Hospital a few minutes before 9 AM, the hour in which the operation of vaccination against coronavirus throughout the country. In that health centre, 5 members of the Health team were vaccinated.

Regional News • World
Canada, Ireland and several other countries also halt flights from UK over new Covid-19 variant
Canada, Ireland and several other countries also halt flights from UK over new Covid-19 variant
Credit: unsplash/Daniel Klein

More countries are banning flights from the UK after the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant that is said to spread much faster. Canada is banning UK travellers for at least 72 hours. Several South American countries followed suit on Sunday, including Argentina, Chile and Colombia. British flights are banned from landing in the Republic of Ireland on Monday and Tuesday. After France suspended travel from and to the UK, both the Eurotunnel and Port of Dover were closed.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Bill for legal abortion advance to Senate voting stage in Argentina

After 20 hours of debate in the lower chamber of Argentinean congress, the bill to legalize abortion under certain conditions got enough votes (131 vs. 117) to continue to the next stage in the upper chamber. The bill was introduced by president Alberto Fernandez and accepted a few changes lately, both were apparently the main factors to have different results compared with the 2018 discussion.

Sports • Soccer
Alejandro Sabella, former Argentina's Head Coach died
Alejandro Sabella
Alejandro Sabella Credit: Víctor Santa María (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Alejandro Sabella, the coach who led the Argentinean National Team to the runner-up in the World Cup in Brazil, died Tuesday at the age of 66.

Sabella has suffered from a severe heart disease since 2015 and had been placed in intensive care just a day after the footballing world mourned the death of Argentine legend Diego Maradona.

Sports • Soccer
Argentinean police raid house and clinic of Diego Maradona's doctor
Diego Maradona Graffiti at La Boca, Buenos Aires.
Diego Maradona Graffiti at La Boca, Buenos Aires. Credit: Cadaverexquisito (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Argentine prosecutors are investigating Diego Maradona's doctor, Leopoldo Luque, for possible manslaughter following the footballing legend's death four days ago. The police have searched the doctor's house and private clinic, trying to establish if the soccer legend's treatment, after his surgery, was negligent.

There are suspicions that the star's convalescence at home might not have met the conditions of his discharge from the clinic, such as a 24-hour team of nurses "specialised in substance abuse", the on-call presence of doctors and a stand-by ambulance equipped with a defibrillator.

Sports • Soccer
Diego Armando Maradona has died
Diego Armando Maradona has died
Credit: Autor unknown / via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

The soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona died on Wednesday morning at the house in the San Andres neighborhood, in the city of Tigre, where he lived for some days after having been operated on the head. Maradona has died at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Maradona, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, helped Argentina win the World Cup in 1986, the pinnacle of an illustrious career.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Argentinean congress discusses new tax regulation for the richest people in order to sanitize the economy and overcome Covid-19
Argentinean congress discusses new tax regulation for the richest people in order to sanitize the economy and overcome Covid-19
Credit: Casa Rosada (Argentina Presidency of the Nation) / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 AR)

Argentinean president Alberto Fernandez proposed a new set of regulations to tax the richest people in the country (above 2,35 M dollars).

Now the congress discusses the proposal that would create a one-time tax, starting with 3.5% up to 5.25%. The extraordinary fee is estimated to affect between 9.000 and 12.000 richest Argentineans, then 20% of the money collected will be used to fight the Covid-19 crises, and the rest will be used to reduce the economic crisis that holds the country in recession since 2018, having 40,9% of the total population of 44 million Argentineans under the poverty line.

Health
Argentina: People can now grow medicinal marijuana at home
Argentina: People can now grow medicinal marijuana at home
Credit: unsplash.com / Drew Taylor

Marijuana for medicinal use is now permitted to be grown at home in Argentina following a decree issued by President Alberto Fernández. In addition pharmacies will be allowed to sell cannabis-derived oils, creams and other products, and it orders public and private insurance systems to cover these medications for patients who obtain a prescription.