Argentina: Abusive Covid-19 Measures in Northern Province

(Washington, DC) – Authorities in Argentina’s northern province of Formosa have employed often abusive and unsanitary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins University’s centers for Public Health and Human Rights and for Humanitarian Health said today. Provincial authorities have also limited journalists’ ability to cover the situation in Formosa, allegedly used excessive force against those protesting the Covid-19 measures, and, for months, severely restricted the ability of people from the city of Clorinda to leave their city and get health care.

Over 24,000 people have been held in mandatory isolation and quarantine centers in Formosa since April 2020, many for more than the 14 days recommended by the World Health Organization, and in many cases under circumstances that amount to arbitrary detention. Formosa authorities have held some people who tested positive with others who tested negative or were still waiting for their test results. The centers have at times been overcrowded and unsanitary, making social distancing difficult. Some lacked proper ventilation, and the authorities have at times failed to provide proper medical care to people in the centers.


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