Pending the "pandemic law", the Spanish Government prepares a DNU with fewer restrictions for the coming weeks

Alberto Fernández with the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Sergio Massa (Marcos Gomez)

 The national government is studying at this time how to continue after Friday, June 11, when the current decree expires, which aimed to achieve a reduction in cases with the application of strict confinement, similar to Phase 1 that was carried out in April of last year.

 President Alberto Fernández hopes, first of all, that the Chamber of Deputies can sanction the so-called “pandemic law” that would regulate sanitary restrictions throughout the country and would make a series of epidemiological parameters effective so that each province knows what measures it should take accordingly. according to the number of cases you have.

 The ruling party has been negotiating for more than two weeks to get the votes to approve the law, but it has not yet managed to carry out that step. The most complex point has to do with the fact that, according to the project, the districts that fall into the "Epidemiological Alarm" category should apply harsh measures and, if not, the Executive Power may intervene to make decisions.

 Without the support of Together for Change, the ruling party seeks vote by vote in the rest of the House to try to get the law passed. Fernández wants to stop establishing restrictions through the DNU, as he has done since the pandemic began until today. But to do so he needs Congress to give him the law.

 The Government negotiates minute by minute to try to remove the "pandemic law"

 The Frente de Todos will play its last card this Thursday. The health initiative is not on the agenda that will be discussed this afternoon at the venue, where, for the moment, the central issues are the Fiscal Consensus and the Cold Zones project promoted by Máximo Kirchner.

 If he manages to secure the votes he needs, the ruling party will try to deal with the project on a stale If they did not put it on the agenda stipulated for this Thursday, it is because the votes, until last night, were not there. Negotiations are still active and it will only be known at noon if the law can be dealt with and left or not.

 The first step that the Frente de Todos has to take is to be able to issue the opinion by majority in the Health Commission, which is made up of 17 deputies from the Frente de Todos, 16 from Juntos por el Cambio, Beatriz Ávila from Tucumán, who left the opposition bloc and Buenos Aires Peronist Eduardo “Bali” Bucca, who leads the interblock where the legislators of Roberto Lavagna and Juan Schiaretti coexist.

 Ávila has decided not to support the project, so there would be a tie that Bucca would have to define. The former mayor in Bolívar agrees to enact a law like the one promoted by the Frente de Todos but is not convinced by the lack of political consensus to remove it. It is a law that would be passed by a simple majority. That is, half plus one of the votes.

 Bucca could accompany the ruling ruling if they assure him that the law will come out on the premises. If not, he should pay a high political cost for supporting a failure of the ruling party in Congress. Furthermore, the majority of the interblock that he leads has already decided not to support the project.

 The Peronist deputy Eduardo "Bali" Bucca

 If the law advances, it would end up being approved on Friday morning, regulated in the afternoon and published in the Official Gazette in the first minutes of Saturday. The urgent roadmap is already stipulated, but in order to carry it out, votes are needed.

 On the other hand, if the law does not advance, in the Casa Rosada they prepare the drafting of a new Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) that extends the restrictions for two or three more weeks. It is not yet defined. This decree would give the legislative authorities of the Frente de Todos a greater margin to try to advance an agreement with the opposition sectors.

 With Sergio Massa traveling to the United States next week, the possibility of passing the law would be postponed until the end of June. One possible option is to extend the DNU for three weeks and try to use that time to close the law and start July with the restrictions stipulated in the bill with a parliamentary endorsement.

 In Balcarce 50 they have defined that if the law does not come out, the decree that will come into effect after Friday will be similar to 287, which was issued on May 1 and which had as a novelty the installation of an epidemiological traffic light to categorize cities according to the number of COVID-19 cases.

 The 9 days of hard confinement and the weekends with a similar scheme will remain on the road. Also the intermittency project that was under consideration to maintain, from Monday to Friday, a similar scheme to the one in force and during Saturday and Sunday a harder closing. Consequently, there would be fewer restrictions in the coming weeks.
Alberto Fernández wants the law to come out to avoid continuing to make decisions for DNU (Presidency)

 “The plateau is still high but the infections decreased. That is why there is room to make some measures more flexible, ”said an official with access to the presidential office. Argentina is registering an average of 10,000 fewer infections since the peak of 40,000 that hit at the end of May. However, the number of deaths grew to 745 in 24 hours.

 In any case, in the Casa Rosada they leave a margin for, in the case of issuing the DNU, consider adding a specific measure that is harder. They are even analyzing the possibility of applying a strict closure during the weekend of June 20, when Father's Day will be celebrated. Options that are on the table.

 At the beginning of May, when the DNU that the Government takes as a model was established, the decree stipulated the measures according to three factors: the reason (increase in cases in the last 14 days and those accumulated in the previous 14 days); the incidence (the average number of cases over the total population) and the occupancy of intensive care beds.

 Based on these factors, four categories were established. Low epidemiological risk, medium risk, high risk and alarm areas. The first three included localities with more than 40,000 inhabitants and the last, where the most complicated cities are in terms of health, large urban agglomerates and places where more than 300,000 people live.

 In Argentina the average number of infections fell but the number of deaths increased (EFE / Juan Ignacio Roncoroni)

 Within the category "Epidemiological Alarm" are today the 40 municipalities of the Buenos Aires suburbs, six cities of Mendoza, two of Santa Fe and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

 According to the decree that the Government will use as a model for the next DNU, "large urban agglomerates, departments or parties with more than 300,000 inhabitants, will be considered in a situation of epidemiological and health alarm when the incidence defined as the number of accumulated confirmed cases of the last 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants is equal to or greater than 500 and the percentage of occupancy of intensive care beds is greater than 80% ”.

 The localities that were in the category of low epidemiological risk had a protocolized life; those of medium risk had measures regulated by the governors according to each city; while in the high-risk ones, social activities were suspended in private homes, social gatherings of more than 10 people in the open air and sports in closed places where more than 10 people participate.
 In the Casa Rosada they diagram a DNU similar to the one to last that was issued. There would be fewer restrictions than the current ones (REUTERS / Agustin Marcarian)

 In addition, the closing of bars and restaurants was established at 11pm and a capacity of 30% for cultural, social, recreational and religious events, cinemas, theaters, clubs, cultural centers, gastronomic venues and gyms.

 In the "Epidemiological Alarm" localities, social, sports, recreational, cultural and religious activities in closed places and group sports in open spaces were suspended. Shops and gastronomic establishments were also closed between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. In the latter case, the delivery and take away modality was allowed after 7:00 p.m.

 In that category, face-to-face classes were suspended at all levels and circulation was restricted at 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., while public transport was only for essentials. The suspension of classes generated a focus of conflict with the Head of Government of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, who decided to continue with the presence.


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