Argentina on Friday imposed a countrywide lockdown as part of efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

The country will remain under lockdown until at least March 31, President Alberto Fernandez said in a statement posted on Twitter Thursday night.

“I have just decreed social, preventive and compulsory isolation for the entire population. An exceptional decision at an exceptional moment,” Fernandez said.

The president stressed the decision was taken because the pandemic spreads rapidly across the world and it is “the most serious health problem.”

“After listening to the experts, the political forces, and the governors, I decided

Read more: Argentina under lockdown as coronavirus cases surge