Sunday, May 31, 2020
Today marks the end of 11 weeks in the national State of Emergency which has meant a stay-at-home quarantine and curfew for everyone here in Peru. It has become one of the longest quarantines in the world. Most of the country has accepted it and is dealing with it despite the obvious challenges.
While the number of cases remain relatively high, much of that is because Peru has undertaken one of the world’s most active testing programs. Here, we have a far better idea of how many cases are at play. Even more important, Peru has been able to get a handle on where those cases are concentrated so they can focus their efforts more efficiently.
While there have been places where the lack of available health facilities has been a problem, the country as a whole has managed to stay just ahead of it thanks to very aggressive programs to expand available facilities. (It’s hard to provide everything for cities where huge portions of the population ignored social distancing and social isolation laws and went about daily lives causing massive spread of the virus.)
Peru is doing more testing than just all the other South American country combined resulting in high numbers of cases. While the number of cases is high, the lethality rate is relatively low. The US, for example, has a population about 10 times as large as Peru, yet has almost 23 times as many COVID deaths.
What would the situation be like if Peru had not taken the actions that they did beginning on March 16? I imagine the situation across the country would be far dire and the death toll would be even more devastating — as it is in the US.
I’m going to start doing something different on my blog. Actually it’ll be a return to what I was doing originally and I’m sure everyone will enjoy reading the new posts and seeing the photos. If you subscribe, you won’t miss any of the new posts!
Economy Showing Signs of Recovery
The Minister of Economy and Finance, María Antonieta Alva, said that the Peruvian economy registered some economic recovery in the last week of May.
“We have started phase 1 of the reactivation about four weeks ago and the last week of May already shows some recovery of economic activity, which will benefit (business) expectations,” she said from the Government Palace.
She specified that in the last few days more than 38 mining units have been approved and in the construction activity they are also making approvals. In the next few days a supreme decree that initiates phase 2 of the reactivation will be published.
“In this phase we are asking for a lot of responsibility from the companies in order to comply with the protocols defined by the Health Ministry and specific ministries, and we are also asking for a lot of responsibility from the workers,” she said.
Minsa Activates Mobile Hospitals
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) strengthened seventeen regions of the country with the installation of mobile hospitals, intensive care modules and tents in order to redouble triage care, rule out suspicious cases, manage confirmed cases and critical patients in areas of expansion.
To date, three mobile hospitals have been deployed to health facilities in Lima including Cayetano Heredia, Sergio Bernales and Villa El Salvador Emergency Center, as well as another five hospitals in the regions of Piura, La Libertad, Cusco, Arequipa and Junín.
Similarly, mobile facilities (fully equipped tents) have been implemented in fourteen regions (Cajamarca, Piura, Lima Provinces, Callao, Cusco, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Ica, San Martín, Áncash, Huánuco, Pasco, Madre de Dios and Tacna), which are used for triage and sampling. Lima has also seen mobile facilities in the hospitals of Dos de Mayo, Arzobispo Loayza, María Auxiliadora, Hipólito Unanue and Santa Rosa, for triage, sample taking and observation services.
Daily COVID Update from Minsa
The Ministry of Health announced that the total number of COVID-19 cases in Peru is now 164,476 — an increase of nearly 9,000 cases in one day.
There are 8,882 patients hospitalized with Covid-19, of which 988 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation. So far 67,208 people have completed their period of home isolation or have been discharged from a health facility. The number of deaths has risen by 135 to 4506.
Lima continues to be the region with the highest number of Covid-19 infections to date with 100,526 followed by the regions of Callao (12167), Lambayeque (8484), Piura (7504), Loreto (4715), La Libertad (4660), Ancash (4220), Ucayali (4054), Ica (3334), Arequipa (3332), Junín (1848), Tumbes (1348), San Martín (1296), Cusco (1062), Huanuco (885), Ayacucho (748), Cajamarca (747), Amazonas (605), Moquegua (515), Madre de Dios (493), Pasco (463), Tacna (448), Huancavelica (436), Puno (392) and Apurimac (194).
Construction of Cusco’s Temporary Hospital
Construction continues on the new temporary hospital being built on the grounds of the Regional Hospital. The new facility will be completed in a week and will house 100 beds for COVID-19 patients.
Misc News Highlights
- Larry Lynch, 64-year-old firefighter Comandante General in Amazonas, was released from the hospital yesterday after winning a 10-day fight against the coronavirus. Lynch was wheeled out in a wheelchair as is custom for released patients, but instead of a hospital gown he wore his firefighter gear.
- An additional 40 oxygen bottles have been distributed around Trujillo.
- The Governor of Arequipa, Arq. Elmerr Cáceres Llica, delivered more than 6 thousand EPP’s and quick tests yesterday to the medical staff at the Central Hospital of Majes.
- The Regional Teacher Hospital (HRDC) of the Regional Government of Cajamarca (GRC) implemented the Intensive Care Unit for coronavirus patients (ICU / COVID-19) that has 4 adult / pediatric mechanical fans, 1 electrocardiograph , 1 defibrillator, portable X-ray equipment for the area, 2 antibacterial filters to reduce staff risk, 4 multiparameter monitors, and a patient monitoring center. The city of Cajamarca now has two specialized units for the care of COVID-19 patients with a serious clinical painting.
- A new temporary care center with 100 beds is being built at the Ramón Castile Military School in Truillo which will have independent access and be away from the city.
- A major 5.8 earthquake occurred just after midnight last night in the west of Juliaca (Puno region) in the south. It was strong enough that I could feel it in Cusco 320 km away and there was considerable noise from shaking buildings around me.
- The Cusco Regional government will oversee the restart of 151 major construction projects in June including the Chinchero International Airport, Antonio Lorena Hospital, Via Expresa, gas pipeline to Cusco, Kepashiato Gas Fractionation Plant, etc.
- During surprise testing on Cuso buses 5 drivers and 3 money collectors were found to be infected with COVID-19.
- President Martin Vizcarra announced that 125 beds will be installed in the Rosaspampa field hospital in Huaraz. He also said that the city needs a new hospital and that the government has committed funding for its construction. Provisions are also being made to have a better supply of oxygen in the region in case it faces a supply problem.
COVID Reports from Across Peru
Most Regional Health Directorates post graphics each day on the current situation in their region each day. I’m going to try to keep up with these as best as I can for those regions that are particularly problematic so people can keep up with what is specifically happening in other parts of the country where there are particularly serious problems.
Most regions post daily reports late on the night before (but not all) so this is the latest information available. (Be sure to click on individual graphics to see a larger size.You might have to click on the top half of the graphic to click. Sorry, it’s a bug I haven’t been able to solve.)
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