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Argentinians Protest After Inmates Released to Curb Coronavirus Spread

Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Argentinians staged loud protests in Buenos Aires on Thursday evening, banging pots from balconies in a show of opposition to the government's release of prisoners to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The protests across the capital were promoted by lawmakers critical of the government of President Alberto Fernández.

Since Monday, more than 1,000 prisoners have been released in Argentina after Fernández said the government should consider granting house arrest to inmates who are at risk of contracting COVID-19.

A week ago, the first confirmed COVID-19 cases inside an Argentine prison included prisoners and guards.

Shortly afterwards, local media say prisoners at Devoto prison in Buenos Aires set fires, demanding the release of some prisoners over fears of contracting the coronavirus.

Argentina has confirmed at least 4,415 COVID-19 cases and 215 deaths linked to the virus.