The nation was already on the economic brink before COVID-19 hit.
- 78.7 Public Health
- 72.9 Financial
- 100 Fact-Based
Argentina’s strong policy score is mainly due to its strong political response, characterized by clear, fact-based communication and regular press briefings by President Fernandez.
Low availability of hospital beds and a low GDP per capita kept Argentina near the median in its pre-pandemic capabilities.
- Debt/GDP ratio 86.1%
- GDP/capita $19,971
- Gini coefficient (out of 100) 41.4
- Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 9
- Healthcare access score (out of 100) 68.4
- Hospital beds/1,000 People 35.8
Government ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Jan 1.)
Public Health Directives
Argentina has a relatively strong public health score, thanks to its strict stay-at-home order early in the crisis and stringent restrictions, although its low emergency healthcare spending and limited travel restrictions bring its score down.
- Stay at home order 2
- Public gathering restrictions 4
- School closings 3
- Public event cancellations 2
- Testing policy 2
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $4.48
- Travel restrictions 3
- Tests/1,000 people 86.9
- Contact tracing 2
While the country’s stimulus package represents a smaller share of its economy than those of other countries in our sample, Argentina has implemented a generous policy targeting debt relief related to COVID-19, keeping its score relatively strong.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 6%
- Income support 1
- Debt forebearance 2
The Argentine authorities have consistently communicated fact- and science-based information to the public through weekly press briefings.
- Reliance on science/fact based information 0
- Press freedom 0
COVID-19 Status as of Jan 1
Having experienced a surge last September, and extension of the lockdown helped to bring case and death rates down.
- Total deaths 43,319
- Death rate per 100K 958.5
- Total cases 1,629,594
- Cases per 100K 36,056
- Percent of positive tests 32
- Change in positivity rates -35.2
|1||Jul 17||Some shops, hair salons, professional services reopen; outdoor activities allowed||79.78|
|2||Jul 31||Lockdown is extended until August after cases rise||119.42|
|3||Sep 21||Lockdown further extended until October 11th||236.12|
|4||Nov 07||Move to social distancing and relax lockdown||221.03|
- Argentina passes tax on wealthy to pay for virus measures: The Argentine senate passes a 3.5 percent tax on those with assets worth more than $2.5 million. The money raised from the tax will go toward providing medical supplies, relief for small businesses, scholarships for students, social developments, and natural gas ventures. Read More
- Lockdown restrictions leading to violent police enforcement: Argentine security officers were given broad enforcement authority for the national lockdown from March through November 2020. Between March and August, the national Human Rights Secretary reported receiving 531 complaints of police abuse, including 25 deaths. Read More
- Argentina puts faith in Russia vaccine: Argentina has secured doses to begin administering Russia’s Sputnik vaccine before year-end and plans to vaccinate ten million vulnerable Argentines before March. President Alberto Fernandez has stated that he will be the first to take the vaccine. Read More
- Argentina’s COVID-19 cases spike in September: 1 in 2 tests are positive, provinces instead of cities getting hit the hardest as economic pressures force government to ease lockdown restrictions. Read More
- Strict lockdown taking major economic toll: Imposing the strictest lockdown in Latin America, Argentina had early success limiting cases, but implementation has contributed to a major contraction in the economy. Read More
- Peronism facilitated public compliance: The lasting legacy of Peronism, particularly its popularity among low-income and informal workers, enabled the government to swiftly enact a strict lockdown, aided by its strong centralized government. Governors wishing to lift lockdowns in their states require permission from the President. Read More
- Debt burden hindered financial response: Argentina's historically rocky relationship with the IMF has hindered its ability to respond to the pandemic financially, as it must balance stabilization of its economy and responding to the needs of its citizens with the conditions of its debt restructuring agreement with the Fund. Read More
Compared with Other Western Hemisphere Countries
Per 1M 195,411
Brazil has a relatively weak score, primarily due to its poor public health policies, especially its very low levels of testing, coupled with President Bolsonaro’s spreading of misinformation about the virus.
Per 1M 126,507
Mexico's score has deteriorated over time, due primarily to its extremely weak financial response and relatively weak public health policy, including very limited testing.
36.2United States 20,184,236
Per 1M 347,901
Still battling widespread COVID-19 cases and deaths, which were exacerbated by the former administration's limited use of facts and science, limited emergency healthcare spending, and limited debt relief, the Biden administration, by contrast, is taking aggressive action to combat the virus, although it may take time for the score to reflect these changes.
Per 1M 15,644
Canada has a relatively strong score, with poor public health policy countered by a continued reliance on fact-based communication.
Further Reading From Foreign Policy
Be the source of actionable insight.
Select one of the subscription options below to read the full Covid-19 Global Response Index. Unlock even more global intelligence with a subscription to FP Insider.
Already an FP Insider? Log In
Looking for group access? Contact us directly
Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- Debt to GDP ratio
- Infant mortality rates
- Hospital beds per 1,000 people
- Gini coefficients measuring inequality
- Health access and quality
COVID-19 Public Health Directives:
- Stay-at home orders
- School-closing policy
- Public-gathering restrictions
- Cancellation of public events
- Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
- Emergency healthcare spending per capita
- Travel restrictions
- Contact tracing
COVID-19 Financial Response:
- Stimulus package as a share of GDP
- Income support
- Instances of misinformation by leadership
- Limitations on press freedom, censorship
Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:
- Death rates per 1 million
- Case rates per 1 million