BUENOS AIRES, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez warned on Friday that the country "is a long way from overcoming" the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and announced he would be extending the quarantine that first came into force in March.
"We are at a time where social responsibility is important, but there is also political responsibility, the responsibility of the state. Today, in the afternoon we are going to issue a decree" on the extension of the quarantine, the president said.
The president said that the new extension will include expanded isolation measures in some provinces where infections have grown exponentially in the last three weeks.
"In the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, we have hit a plateau. The situation is controlled and the cases are not growing, that is true. But what we need is for the cases to go down and that is why I am asking everyone, for each one to take responsibility, to take care of ourselves and others," he added.
Argentina first entered into quarantine on March 20 and the measure was set to expire on Sept. 20. Though the measure has been lengthy, it has become more flexible over the time.
Argentina has registered 601,713 cases and 12,491 deaths from COVID-19 so far.