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Argentina's president, ministers in preventative isolation after coronavirus contact

FILE PHOTO: Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez gestures during the announcement that Argentina and Mexico will produce and distribute an experimental coronavirus vaccine, at the Olivos Presidential residence, in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 12, 2020. Juan Mabromata/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, and several of his ministers began preventative isolation after coming in close contact with an official infected with coronavirus, the government said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Fernández tested negative for COVID-19 but will nonetheless remain in isolation, the statement said. His foreign and interior ministers, as well as the Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity are still awaiting the results of their respective tests.

The president and his ministers had met with Secretary for Strategic Affairs of the Presidency, Gustavo Béliz, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier today, the statement said.

Argentina is among the countries hardest hit by COVID-19. It has logged 1.27 million cases of the disease and 34,531 deaths.

The country’s daily infection rate has started to slow in recent weeks, indicating the crisis may have passed its peak.

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Reporting by Eliana Raszewski, writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Lincoln Feast.