January 14th, 2022
1. Government relaxed close contact isolation with full vaccination
The National Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, announced on Tuesday 11 that those who have completed their vaccination schedules less than 4 months ago and have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 will be exempted from isolation. This announcement comes after a sharp increase in daily infections, which increased 432% in the last 14 days. Despite the increase in the number of cases, the government’s intention is not to reinforce the measures so as not to affect the recovery of economic activity. Minister Vizzotti mentioned that the epidemiological outlook may change in the future.
2. Total inflation for 2021 was 50.9%
The National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December, which grew by 3.8%. It now totals 50.9% for 2021. The items with the largest price increases were restaurants and hotels (5.9%), alcoholic beverages and tobacco (5.4%), transportation (4.9%), and clothing and footwear (4.8%). In comparison, the sectors with the lowest increases were education (1%) and health (0.5%).
Página12: Indec: la inflación en 2021 fue de 50,9%
3. Minister Guzmán and opposition to meet next Tuesday to discuss status of negotiations with IMF
The Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, will hold a meeting next Tuesday with opposition governors and legislators of Juntos por el Cambio. The purpose of the meeting is to explain the current status of negotiations with the IMF and to ask for the support of the main opposition parties to reach an agreement, since it will need to be approved by Congress. The government called all the governors last week. However, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta did not attend, arguing that the meeting was more political than business, while the three radical governors (Gerardo Morales, Gustavo Valdés, and Rodolfo Suárez) sent representatives. On the government side, in addition to Guzmán, Sergio Massa, president of the Chamber of Deputies, is expected to attend. The meeting is planned for Tuesday, January 18 at 17:00 at the Congress.
4. Massive electric outages reported in the Metropolitan Area
Due to a technical failure in high voltage installations, approximately 700,000 users were affected by power outages in one of the hottest weeks of the year. During Friday, power outages were also repeated in different areas of the Capital and Buenos Aires. The distribution company Edenor stated that, after a preliminary review, 80% of those affected had already recovered the service. Also, during the day, the official webpage of the National Electricity Regulatory Agency (Ente Nacional de Regulación Eléctrica) collapsed. The government asked large companies to reduce their consumption on Thursday and Friday and closed public offices for 48 hours.
5. The goverment announced the reimplementation of the Connect Equality Program
By means of Decree 11/2022, published in the Official Gazette, the national government formalized the creation of the Connect Equality Program to promote connectivity in the country. The defined objective is to recover the spirit that the initiative maintained in its initial implementation in 2010 and “promote technological resources in state-run public schools and develop educational proposals in order to promote their incorporation into the processes of teaching and learning”. The program will be implemented by the Ministry of Education.