July 31

Argentina: There Is No Economy Without Health

By WHO Editor

Latin America is now the center of the COVID-19 pandemic, with no peak in sight.

“You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you can’t recover from death.” With that grim but straightforward logic, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández instituted a tough lockdown early in the pandemic to limit the spread of COVID-19.

When the pandemic first hit, Argentine officials took rapid and decisive measures aligned with recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its regional office, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which initially flattened the curve and saved lives.

Currently, the number of new cases is accelerating in the country and topped 100,000 in mid-July, which is wintertime in the Southern Hemisphere. Yet, public pressure is growing to continue opening up the country, already in recession before the pandemic even started, and now facing a projected 7.3% contraction in GDP that could see 45% of the population living in poverty.

Photo courtesy of Jernej Furman.

Source: World Health Organization (link opens in a new window)