Thursday, April 30, 2020
Thankfully, this week seems to be going by quickly. The President has only spoken once in the past four days which is quite unusual, but he and the rest of the government appear to be quite busy preparing for the next phase.
When that phase will commence, however, is still very much in question. Some regions and parts of Lima are still dealing with great amount of resistance to the social isolation rules.
I have friends in Iquitos and keep up with what’s happening there very closely. Things are growing extremely dire every day and yet there are still hordes of people who ignore any social distancing rules.
I read a report today that people in Trujillo (La Libertad) are filling the markets by the thousands. Similar reports of throngs filling markets are coming from Chiclayo (Lambayeque).
Here are two photos comparing Chiclayo traffic (taken today) and Cusco traffic (taken on one of the busiest streets in the city this afternoon).
I know I’m going to anger some with this, but I want to address the story going around about forced COVID testing in Peru being a violation of the Geneva Convention.
First of all, the Geneva Convention solely deals with acts carried out during wartime or armed international conflict. Second, the only people who seem to be spreading this rumor are foreigners who seemed to have missed the decree establishing the current State of Emergency. (Read it and you’ll understand.) Third, the supporting “meme” that I’ve seen used of what is claimed to be a statement by UNESCO which is also irrelevant.
One person even said that testing did nothing to save lives.
Seriously? That person didn’t understand that knowing if a vendor in a crowded market place has an extremely contagious virus so you can remove them before they spread the virus to potentially thousands of others — some of whom could be extremely vulnerable to its effects.
Sorry for the editorial, but this stuff is getting old.
Hope everyone’s staying well and safe.
Daily COVID stats from Minsa
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) announced that that the total number of COVID-19 cases so far has risen to 36,976. While dropping a lot, the number of tests reported (21,000) is still much greater than any day except the last two.
Currently there are 4,978 hospitalized patients with Covid-19, of whom 651 are in the ICU with mechanical ventilation. Of the total of positive cases, 10,405 people completed their period of home isolation or were discharged from a health facility. The number of deaths continues to rise — 1,051 people have died due to the coronavirus so far.
Lima has 23,561 cases followed by the regions of Callao (3219), Lambayeque (2176), Piura (1207), Loreto (1202), Ancash (693), Ucayali (671), La Libertad (668), Arequipa (571 ), Ica (550), Junín (394), Tumbes (310), San Martín (238), Cusco (212), Huánuco (189), Cajamarca (170), Amazonas (122), Moquegua (120), Madre de Dios (113), Pasco (113), Tacna (111), Puno (105), Ayacucho (95), Huancavelica (88) and Apurímac (78).
Rapid Response Team in Cusco
In order to reinforce the prevention and control actions of COVID-19 in the Cusco region, and in compliance with the COVID Command agreements, the Regional Health Directorate (Diresa) through the Health Intelligence Directorate, have reinforced the work of the Team Rapid Response, in order to carry out a more exhaustive work in the detection of suspicious cases and in the follow-up of suspicious cases.
These are 96 health professionals, including doctors, nurses, biologists and drivers, who will be available 24 hours a day in an organized manner and who, since Monday, April 27, have been carrying out case investigation work, applying molecular tests and rapid tests to specific groups of the population such as pharmacy and pharmacy workers, the National Police, as well as market and supermarket workers.
They also make the corresponding recommendations to those screened to avoid future infections, as well as the timely isolation of confirmed cases and the quarantine of their families.
It should be noted that the health personnel who work in the Rapid Response team have received the necessary training from the professional staff of the Health Directorate in order to care for the health of each of the workers and avoid COVID-19 infections during their intervention. .
Peru’s Economic Recovery
RPP Noticias had a great article this morning about Peru’s economic recovery.
The articles says that the economy will be reactivated by monthly phases that will run from May to August.
As a result of the coronavirus, in Peru only 44.1% of the economic sectors are operating. For a day of quarantine, the country registers average losses of s/928 million about 0.1% of GDP.
A loss of around s/52 billion (6.8% of GDP) is estimated in the Peruvian economy for the current 56 days of quarantine.
The effect that the coronavirus will have on the economy of Peru will occur through external and internal channels.
Externally, the factors that will hit economic stability are lower raw material prices, volatility in financial markets, decreased international trade, and indirect effects (transport, trade, service, etc.).
Internally there are three channels that will affect the economy: interruptions in supply chains and less production, the decrease in purchases as well as expenditures in travel and entertainment activities, and lastly, expectations, as investments and consumption will be postponed.
Misc News Highlights
- The Caquetá Market in central Lima will be closed for 10 days for a complete disinfection. Yesterday 30 EsSalud teams made an unannounced visit to the market and tested 842 vendors resulting in 163 positive results. Defense Minister Walter Martos said “a general reordering of the market is carried out, a whole system of disinfection and control is to be made so that, when it is reopened , there is a strict management of the traffic of people, the distance that they must keep and all the measures that must ensure that there are no further contagions.”
- Ricardo Ford, researcher of the Development Analysis Group (Grade), warned RPP Noticias that the situation in other markets of the country should be similar to that of the wholesale supply center of Caquetá [see above], where 19% of positive cases with COVID were detected- 19 after tests carried out on 842 merchants. He indicated that there are some 2,600 wholesale markets throughout the country and asked that the government take measures to guarantee social isolation in these establishments.
- 510 cadets and students at the Police Academy of Puente Piedra (north of Lima) have tested positive for COVID-19. According to the police, all are asymptomatic, isolated from the rest of the students, and a medical team is monitoring them. (Over 2700 cadets and students were tested.)
- 28 police officers in Cusco have tested positive for COVID-19 and that number is expected to rise as the police are still awaiting more test results to come back.
- The Ministry of the Interior is looking into allegations of misuse of funds by the police involving the over payment of funds for biosafety equipment (i.e., masks) across the country. This investigation also involves the Cusco region.
- First fire of the season? Firefighters put out a fire that consumed about 2 hectares near Coya in the Sacred Valley near Cusco yesterday. While the cause is still under investigation, people still use fire to prepare fields for planting. During the dry season, this can become a dangerous situation.
- The price of bottled LPG gas has dropped about 11% thanks to measures taken by the government to ease the burden on millions of Peruvian families who depend on the gas for cooking and heat.
Cusco COVID Stats
According to the Cusco Regional Health Directorate (Diresa), the number of COVID cases in Cusco rose to 212 — an increase of four over the previous day. (Of those cases, 121 have been released as no longer infected.) No new deaths have been reported. Only new 65 tests results were reported in the region. As of yesterday, 3 people are hospitalized with one person in ICU.
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