Amid collapse, Argentina announces new aid for health workers

Amid collapse, Argentina announces new aid for health workers
Health workers in Santa Rosa, La Pampa. Photo: Gustavo Marcelo Suarez/Shutterstock

President Alberto Fernández of Argentina announced a three-month USD 70 bonus for health professionals, expected to reach 100,000 people working on the frontline battling Covid-19. The decision came during an announcement of a USD 109,000 (ARS 10.1 million) reinforcement to the health sector, as a response to a new wave of coronavirus infections.

Including the beneficiaries from the 2020 bonus scheme, Argentina has a reported 740,000 professionals receiving financial aid. “This will help health workers to endure a greater effort,” said Mr. Fernández.

On April 16, Argentina registered an all-time record of new Covid-19 cases, with more than 29,700 infections in a single day. Two days later, it was time for deaths to break records, with 217 registered within 24 hours, forcing the government to increase restrictions. 

According to the Vice President of the Argentinian Society of Vaccinology and Epidemiology Analía Rearte, Argentina is “facing an increase in viral transmission due to the new variants.”

In the meantime, the vaccine rollout is slow — only 1.8 million Argentinians (out of a total of 45.4 million) have been fully vaccinated — and the occupancy rate of ICU beds has jumped from 56 percent to more than 70 percent in Greater Buenos Aires over the last two weeks. 

As of today, more than 2.5 million people have been infected with the coronavirus in Argentina, and more than 58,000 have died.