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ARGENTINA | 09-04-2020 18:43

Three provinces – Catamarca, Chubut, Formosa – still have no Covid-19 cases

There are more than 1,795 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Argentina, yet three provinces have yet to officially report a diagnosis of Covid-19. Why?

More than 1,700 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Argentina, and there have been more than 70 fatalities to date. Yet three provinces – Catamarca, Chubut, and Formosa – are still reporting zero confirmed cases in their respective regions. 

Experts are unsure as to why no confirmed cases have been recorded in the provinces, with some pointing to the relatively low number of tourists that visit the regions. Others, including at least one governor, say it's down to God.

Others speculate that the swift application of preventative measures may be the reason. For instance, anyone who enters the province of Chubut – one of the areas least affected by the virus to date – must go into self-isolation for 14 days, provincial Health Minister Fabián Puratich explained to Clarín this week.

Catamarca also closed its borders relatively early on into the pandemic, while Formosa put strict controls on three border crossings with Chaco before President Alberto Fernández's general quarantine was put in place.

“The Health Ministry [of Catamarca] continues to prepare the health system for the worst-case scenario, even though we still have no cases,” Guillermo Martínez, the president of the Medical College of Catamarca told Clarín.

Meanwhile, at one least one government minister in Formosa says the relative health of the region is a gift from God. 

“I think we have no cases because God is from Formosa,” said Jorge González, a government minister that covers the Justice, Security and Work portfolios.

“We must accompany God’s blessing with public policies that specify real and effective actions that benefit the entire population, particularly the weakest and most vulnerable,” argued González in a radio interview on Wednesday, adding that the province had been hit especially hard by Dengue this year.

Formosa Province requires anyone who crosses its borders to remain in quarantine and be monitored every two days, La Nación reported on Thursday. 

Nationwide

While Formosa, Catamarca, and Chubut provinces are still reporting zero confirmed cases, hotspots such as Buenos Aires City and Province, Córdoba, and Chaco, continue to report new cases. 

As of April 8, Buenos Aires Province had recorded 460 cases of the novel coronavirus, while the capital had 498 confirmed cases. Outside Greater Buenos Aires, Chaco and Córdoba provinces have also reported high figures: 138 and 151, respectively. 

Despite the continuously growing number of Covid-19 diagnoses across the nation, almost half of Argentines still believe they will not get sick from the virus, a new study showed Wednesday. 

Around half of the country believes that if they become infected they will have a serious case, according to research carried out by the National University of Córdoba (UNC). 

The study was conducted between March 23 and March 25 and reports that 44 percent of the population perceives the possibility of contagion as "very unlikely," though this percentage increased to 46 percent in a sample taken between March 25 and April 3. 

The study also detected that 49 percent of the population assumed that if they do contract the virus, its impact will be severe, data showed.

– TIMES/NA

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