Buenos Aires, May 11 (EFE).- The health minister of Argentina’s capital cast doubt Tuesday on the possibility of in-stadium fan attendance at the Copa America, an international soccer competition that determines the champions of South America.
A devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is battering that region in the lead-up to this year’s event, which is scheduled to be held from June 13 to July 10 in Argentina and Colombia.
“The city and much of the country with urban clusters are not in condition to organize events with large crowds,” Fernan Quiroz said at a press conference, adding that “as of today, at least in terms of spectators, it’s still not clear.”
This year’s tournament has been the subject of debate in recent weeks due to the host countries’ complicated health situation. In Argentina, where confirmed cases and deaths have reached record highs over the past month, President Alberto Fernandez has called for a cautious approach.
“I don’t want to derail the Copa America event, but I want us to be very sensible, very careful. We have some time to analyze and see how things evolve, see how we can tackle the problem,” the head of state said on April 15.
In Tuesday’s press conference, Quiros said the number of new confirmed cases in Buenos Aires is falling appropriately, “albeit at a pace that still needs to be accelerated.”
“With intensified testing we’ve managed to lower the city’s test positivity rate. We’re at a positivity rate of between 15 percent and 20 percent. If that keeps falling, it means we’re doing a good job with testing,” he said, adding that close contacts of coronavirus-positive individuals can then be traced and isolated to break the chain of transmission.
Regarding the ongoing vaccination drive in the capital, Quiros said 693,811 people have received an initial dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and that more doses are scheduled to arrive in the coming days.
“We’re receiving more vaccine doses between today and tomorrow and a new shipment that will be arriving tomorrow or the day after. That’s important for maintaining the continuity of the vaccination campaign,” he added. EFE