The Omicron coronavirus variant is hitting Argentina hard, with new case records being set daily and hour-long lines at most testing centers. Yesterday, the country declared 109,608 new cases, with a positive test rate of over 50 percent — a sign that the true number of daily cases is likely even higher.
In terms of severe cases, however, the picture is very different. Only 40 Covid-related deaths were recorded on Thursday, as Omicron proves to be more contagious but less deadly than previous variants. Eighty-five percent of Argentina’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Latin America is expecting a significant spike in Covid cases in the opening months of this year. But some experts believe that the pandemic will fade as the main dominant subject in public life — whether because multiple countries will enter election seasons, or because politicians and citizens will no longer treat the health crisis with the same level of urgency as they once did.