Saturday, July 25, 2009

Diego Maradona will not like this...

Argentine football legend, Diego Armando Maradona, will not like this news report.

The Guardian today reported that substantial amount of international tourists have cancelled their trips to Argentina as swine flu death toll in that country, reached 137, making Argentina the 2nd worst hit in terms of the virus fatality, behind the United States.

Currently there are 211 deaths, caused by the pandemic in the USA.

In Argentina, travel agents and airlines have reported a sharp drop in business amid concern that the death toll will continue to rise during the rest of the southern hemisphere's winter.

An unfamiliar quiet has descended over some of Buenos Aires's tourist quarters, with many restaurants and theatres closed or deserted. Ski resorts such as Bariloche, which are normally packed at this time, have rooms to spare. Hotels, restaurants, and shops said they were losing around US$150 million (£95m) weekly.

The vice president of Spain, Maria Teresa Fernández de la Vega, has decided to bypass Argentina on a forthcoming South America tour, reportedly because of the A (H1N1) virus.

The Brazilian airline GOL cancelled some chartered flights to its neighbour after passengers numbers dropped by half. Brazil's government has advised against travel to Argentina and Chile, also badly hit. Some travel agents have reported a 50 percent drop in travelers.

The British Foreign Office updated its travel advice to warn that Buenos Aires and 17 provinces had declared a health emergency. It does not urge Britons to stay away but is not exactly encouraging.

The authorities hope recent temporary restrictions will curb the epidemic. Schools, universities, cinemas, theatres, and gymnasiums were closed and pregnant women and children were among those urged to stay indoors.

The Catholic church urged worshippers to sit far apart, to avoid handshakes, and to take the communion wafer in their hands rather than directly on the tongue. Doctors urged people to not greet each other with a kiss and to not share mate, a herbal drink traditionally drunk from a straw and passed between friends.

The government said yesterday the worst may be over. The numbers reporting flu symptoms has reportedly halved in recent days. Theatres, which were shut for the past 10 days, said they would reopen this weekend but appealed to the sick to stay away.

I wonder wether the football stadiums across Argentina will also see a drastic drop in fans attendance??

I used to watch over the TV, football stadiums in Argentina are always jam packed whenever top teams in the Argentine league are playing.

Top teams include Independiente, Boca Juniors, Argentinos Juniors and River Plate - these 4 are like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and my all time favourite - Liverpool in the English Premier League.

Say no to H1N1, say yes to Liverpool and Diego Armando Maradona.

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