Argentine health and migration authorities are analysing additional measured to curb the arrival into the country of the coronavirus Delta variant, which has already been detected in three cases of passengers flying in from abroad.
Last week, a house-by-house campaign showed that 40% of those who were supposed to observe a 14-day mandatory quarantine at their homes upon returning to the country had failed to comply. Hence, it was rumoured that mandatory stays at hotels or other similar measures could be imposed.
However, Migrations Director Florencia Carignano said that “if there is community circulation of the Delta strain, the Ministry of Health of the Nation will say so,” as she granted that in the next few hours “new measures will be taken.”
Another possibility, according to local media, was the use of monitoring devices.
Carignano insisted Argentina “is not yet close” to having community circulation of this Indian variant but “that does not mean that (this virus) is not going to enter” the country.
Of the three cases of the Delta strain, the first two were underage Argentine travellers who on April 24 flew back from France and the third detection took place on June 4. It was a 26-year-old man from the United States.
The day before leaving the US, the passenger had had a negative PCR test. But when he arrived in Argentina and was subjected to the antigen test that is performed on all travellers, he tested positive. The sample was taken to the laboratory and genomic analysis revealed the existence of the Delta variant.
Therefore, to prevent inequalities in diagnostic tests and avoid the possibility of a similar case leaking through border controls, Carignano admitted in a radio interview that “surely in the next few hours new control measures” will be taken.
Based on this information, “red button” mongers have sped up their calls on social media for a total closure of the country's borders.
According to preliminary studies, the Delta variant could resist the full effectiveness of the antibodies generated by some of the Covid vaccines applied so far.
In any case, Carignano pointed out that the variant was “in 74 countries” and that Argentina “is not exempt” from possible cases for “as long as there is the movement of people.”