“I am seeing people die in less than a week – young patients unresponsive to treatment. You administer oxygen, do all the mechanics – turn them face down, face up – but it doesn’t work. Then there are other patients whose oxygenation level is not so bad – but they die anyway,” Edul says.
A devastating second wave of Covid cases has caught Argentina off-guard, with relaxed restrictions and a low vaccination rate. Cases have risen from a daily total of about 5,000 in early March to a record 35,000 this week, while deaths surged from 112 at the start of March to a record 744 on Tuesday. On Wednesday daily contagions set a new record, just under 40,000 cases, while deaths dropped to 494.
The figures put the country third in daily cases after India and Brazil, and fourth in Covid deaths, after India, Brazil and the US.
Relative to population, Argentina now has the highest number of Covid deaths per day in the world, with 16.46 Covid fatalities per million on Tuesday, far exceeding its giant neighbour Brazil, which saw 11.82 per million.