May 8, 2020 8:41 pm
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FILE PHOTO: Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez looks on during the session of the 138th legislative term at the National Congress in Buenos Aires
FILE PHOTO: Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez looks on during the session of the 138th legislative term at the National Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina March 1, 2020. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo

May 9, 2020

By Maximilian Heath

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina extended until May 24 a quarantine for its capital Buenos Aires but relaxed the restriction aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus elsewhere in the country, President Alberto Fernandez said on Friday.

The lockdown, which was due to expire on Sunday, will remain in place in the capital and its outskirts, Fernandez said in a televised address.

Fernandez said he was “extremely proud” of Argentines for observing the strict social isolation measures, which he said had helped the government achieve its aim of flattening the curve of cases and deaths.

Argentines have been sealed in their homes since the quarantine was first announced on March 20 but since last month have been allowed to take short walks outside their homes during the day.

Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta told the same news conference that children would now be allowed to go out for exercise accompanied by their parents at weekends.

Argentina has been under national quarantine for seven weeks and the government has extended it three times previously.

As of Friday, the country had registered 5,611 confirmed cases of the virus and 293 deaths.

(Reporting by Maximilian Health, writing by Cassandra Garrison and Aislinn Laing; Editing by Sandra Maler)