Argentina + 6 more

R4V Southern Cone Situation Report - May 2021

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  • Argentina’s deadly COVID-19 second wave showed no sign of slowing, after another record-breaking week of infections and fatalities. The country’s daily caseloads were regularly surpassing 30,000 over the last weeks of May. According to official data, occupation of intensive care units (ICUs) nationwide stood at 77.1 percent by the end of the month. President Alberto Fernández announced a nine-day lockdown on 21 May until midnight on 30 May, declaring Argentina is in "the worst moment" of the pandemic. In Bolivia, the third wave of coronavirus infections hit after registering a daily average of 2,000 to 3,000 cases in May. Hospitals were overcrowded in several cities, forcing authorities to apply new restrictions while the COVID-19 vaccination campaign proceeded slowly. The most affected regions were Santa Cruz, to the east; Cochabamba, a central region; Oruro, to the west, and La Paz, in which restrictive measures were taken. Despite some cases of refugees and migrants in vulnerable irregular situations having received the vaccine, there is still no established mechanism which facilitates their vaccination. Paraguay ranked first in the world for the worst death rate due to COVID-19 at the end of May, surpassing Uruguay on the list of nations with the most deaths per million inhabitants. This month was the deadliest of the pandemic, and even exceeded the death toll during all of 2020. President Mario Abdo announced the extension of sanitary measures until 7 June. Uruguay surpassed 4,000 COVID-19 deaths on 26 May, making it the country with the highest number of deaths caused by the virus in the world during May, even though 47 per cent of the population had already received a dose of a vaccine, and 28 percent had received both.

  • In Desaguadero, on the Bolivian-Peruvian border, refugees and migrants who enter Bolivia at night-time are not being reached with humanitarian assistance. Migration controls by the authorities reduced their intensity, but on the other hand, the local community's xenphobia towards Venezuelans persists. On the Bolivian–Argentinian border, migratory controls on both sides are almost non-existent. At the border with Paraguay (Villamontes) a steady but low number of refugees and migrants crossing through this border is reported by partners and those who do cross, cross through irregular routes in the forests, in unsafe conditions. In Pisiga (border with Chile) the flow of Venezuelans exiting Bolivia towards Chile continues steadily. . During May, partners reported 56 refugees and migrants who entered Argentina via La Quiaca (Jujuy), border with Bolivia. Reduced flows were reported by partners in Puerto Iguazu, border with Brazil.