Tuesday, June 30, 2020
It’s the last day for most of us under quarantine. I’m really not sure how much is going to change tomorrow. I hope it’s not a lot because none of us want the virus to begin spreading out of control again.
There is a definite air of excitement in Cusco. The police were almost non-existent today throughout most of the city. In a personal Facebook post earlier today, I wrote with a bit of pride in my city, “What’s really great is that — even on Day 107 and no apparent enforcement — everyone is wearing their mask and respecting social distancing.”
Tomorrow at 4 am the quarantine comes to a close here and most of the country. I’m thankful that we go into it with some good news as the percentage of positive cases made a decent drop with today’s report and the number of deaths went down about 5% from where it’s been for the past 10 days. One day doesn’t mean much, but hopefully it’s a good sign of things to come.
Remember to follow me on Twitter (for quicker updates) and Instagram (for lots of cool pics with more coming as I head out more now):
Summary of the Presidential Press Conference
About 1 pm this afternoon President Vizcarra addressed the nation at the start of the first press conference since the announcement lifting the quarantine across most of Peru Friday night.
He opened by reminding everyone that “The virus is still here in our midst…The message is not ‘get out, everybody. We have to be responsible and take care of ourselves…The virus is not going to go away until there’s a vaccine. We are going to have to live with the virus.”
Vizcarra talked about the 1300 ICU beds currently available with the goal of reaching 2,000 beds soon. He also pointed out that an average of 15,000 daily tests are currently being carried out in the country, “a number that is higher than the average of 12,000 that we had planned.”
The President announced that 400 mechanical ventilators purchased from China arrived in the country this morning which will be adding to the ventilators donated by the US government. “There are 650 ventilators that we are going to distribute during this and next week (at a national level)”, he highlighted. They will be going to be hardest hit regions.
He also said he has spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel who promised to deliver 100,000 molecular tests to the country.
Vizcarra estimated that the vaccine against COVID-19 would be ready worldwide by the end of 2020 and announced the creation of a “Vaccine Command”, which will have Carlos Neuhaus as its spokesman. This working group will be in charge of managing the acquisition and arrival of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are ready.
The president said that tomorrow, July 1st, the protocols for the economic reactivation will be known and a subsidy for the transportation industry will be published tomorrow. Transportation businesses who don’t follow the protocols will not received any subsidy.
He said that passengers will have to wear face shields on buses, as part of the biosecurity protocols. In this regard, he announced the development of ten million face shields that “we will distribute to the passengers of all urban transport services”.
President Vizcarra said that the government plans to take measures in the face of the resurgence of contagion, recognizing that the “most severe would be to resume quarantine, but it would be the last option.
More on Restaurant Openings
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Edgar Vasquez, explained to RPP Noticias how the restaurants will operate from starting tomorrow.
“There will be two meters of distance between tables when there is a traffic corridor and one and a half meters when there is no corridor — that is, between the backs of the consumers. In addition, there will be disinfection before and after everything that is in contact with the customer — cleaning shoes, hands and taking temperature,” he said.
He explained that “the person who takes the orders, in addition to having the protective clothing, must wear face protection” and the wait at the door of the premises will be done respecting the social distance.
Vasquez said that this protocol was designed with the unions and highlighted the good role played by this sector.
“When they started the delivery and pick up in the store they applied the protocols correctly. They have earned the trust, so much so that the consumers themselves demand compliance with the protocol. Moreover, the informal sector that exists in the economy had to adapt because everyone demands that the delivery arrives with the mask,” he said.
Minister Vasquez said that “any restaurant, regardless of size, will be able to start operating with attention in the lounge… The condition is that the protocol is implemented, as in previous cases, the remaining person must put together his surveillance plan and send it to the Sis-COVID-19. In other words, implement it and make it known.”
What’s Open at the Mall in Cusco (Plaza Real)
Here’s a list of stores open at the Plaza Real mall and their hours (as of this morning):
- Bata – 10 am to 7 pm
- Bembos – 10 am to 7:30 pm (take out only, 994 695 444)
- Bubble Gummers – 10 am to 6 pm
- Burger King – 10 am to 6 pm (take out only, 989 144 276)
- Casaideas – 10 am to 6:30 pm
- Claro – 10 am to 5 pm
- Crepier – 10 am to 7 pm
- Don Belisario – 11 am to 6:30 pm (take out only, 944 571 491)
- Econopticas – 10 am to 7 pm
- Entel – 9 am to 6 pm
- GMO – 10 am – 7 pm
- Gzuck – 10 am to 7 pm
- KFC – 10 am to 7 pm (take out only, 914 745 647)
- Levi’s – 10 am to 6 pm
- Mac Center – 11 am to 6 pm
- Meylin – 10 am to 6 pm
- MiFarma – 9 am to 5 pm
- Movistar – 9 am to 6 pm
- Norton – 10 am to 7 pm
- Oeschle — 11 am to 7 pm
- Pionier – 10 am to 7 pm
- Popeye’s – no hours listed, take out only
- Starbucks – 7 am to 7 pm (doors were closed)
- Sole – 10 am to 7 pm
- Topitop – 10 am to 7 pm
Daily COVID Update from Minsa
The Ministry of Health reported 2,848 new cases of COVID-19 to bring the nationwide total to 285,213. They also reported 173 deaths for a total of 9,677 across Peru.
There are 11,049 patients hospitalized with Covid-19, of which 1,185 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation. So far 174,535 people have completed their period of home isolation or have been discharged from a health facility.
Lima continues to be the region with the highest number of Covid-19 infections to date at 158,189 followed by the regions of Callao (17 984), Piura (16 923), Lambayeque (13 657), La Libertad (9962), Loreto (9023), Ancash (7988), Ucayali (7736), Ica (7588), Arequipa (7124), San Martín (4982), Junín (3929), Tumbes (2696), Huánuco (2363), Amazonas (2155), Cajamarca (2138), Madre de Dios (1844), Cusco (1796), Ayacucho (1775), Pasco (1104), Puno (952), Moquegua (949), Huancavelica (902), Tacna (897) and Apurimac (557).
News on Transportation in Cusco
Diario Correo reports that Henry Hurtado, manager of Transit, Roads and Transport of the Provincial Municipality of Cusco, said that they are preparing a municipal ordinance that will use the so-called ‘peak and plate’, for the taxi service.
“Everything is ready and only needs to be approved by the City Council, after this the vehicles with odd numbered plates will only be able to leave on odd days and those with even numbered plates on even days, this seeks to reduce the number of units on the streets in order to avoid crowding,” he said.
So far, there are 1,700 vehicles approved and equipped with the necessary biosecurity elements to travel in Cusco, the municipal authority said that every day they receive an average of 200 requests for authorization.
Regarding the transfer of passengers in intercity buses, he mentioned that according to the decree, as of July 1st the buses will resume their route at 100% and at the established times, that is, from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the city of Cusco.
However, these vehicles will continue to provide service at only 50% of their operational capacity. “The restrictions that are made are for the good of all, if users see that the orders are not being fulfilled give notice to the numbers that we will provide,” he said.
It was learned that inspectors from the municipality of Cusco and the Ministry of Transport will work together with the police to enforce these provisions and collect complaints from residents.
Medical Teams Heading to Amazonas and Madre de Dios
Agencia Andina reports that a total of 36 health professionals, including doctors, nurses, and medical technicians, headed this morning to the Peruvian jungle regions of Amazonas and Madre de Dios to help in the care of COVID-19 patients, Social Health Insurance System (EsSalud) reported on Monday.
Over a period of 15-21 days, they will support the hospital staff at EsSalud facilities located in those regions.
“Several members of this brigade return to the front line of the fight against COVID-19, since some of them have previously been deployed to other Peruvian cities hit by the virus. EsSalud is proud of the commitment they show day in and day out,” said EsSalud spokesperson Jorge Perlacios.
The delegation traveling to Madre de Dios will remain in Puerto Maldonado and nearby communities, while those going to Amazonas will head towards Chachapoyas. These two cities have reported an increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
Cusco Unemployment Could Reach 28%
The head of the Regional Labor Department, Javier Vega, made a prospective analysis of unemployment in Cusco and told RPP Noticias, “By the end of this year, the unemployment rate in the Cusco region could rise to 28% as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The most affected sectors will be tourism, commerce, services, and restaurants. In 2019 the unemployment rate remained at 2%. In 2018, it was 2.8%.
Vega estimates that this percentage of unemployment will decrease by the end of this year. “I don’t think in a year we can go down from 28% to 2% as we were before, but we will try to go down by 2021 to 10% or 12%,” he said.
COVID in Cusco
Here are the provincial and district reports from the Cusco region for those living in outlying areas who want to see what is the situation regarding confirmed cases where they live.
Misc News Highlights
- In Arequipa, more than 300 police officers have returned to patrolling the streets after winning the battle against the new coronavirus, said the head of the 11th Police Macro Region, Gen. To date, there are another 600 police officers who are in the process of recovering in their homes, Health Ministry hospitals and EsSalud.
- The Ministry of Transport and Communications extended the period of validity of the technical vehicle inspections of the units dedicated to the transport of persons, cargo and goods. The measure runs from July 31 to November 30, depending on the type of vehicle, and is valid only for those vehicles whose certificate expired between March 16 and June 30.
- The agencies and registry offices of the National Registry of Identification and Civil Status (RENIEC) will progressively reopen their doors and begin to do so tomorrow, July 1, in Miraflores, as there is a lower incidence of COVID-19 infections in this district.
- Social Security Health (EsSalud) warned that, despite the encouraging figures from some regions of the country reported in its ‘Heat Map’ tool, there are others that in recent weeks have significantly increased their positive cases and the number of deaths. This is the case of San Martín, Junín, Arequipa, Ica, Amazonas, La Libertad, Huánuco.
- President Vizcarra warned that the construction of the Hipólito Unanue Hospital in Tacna should have been completed last year, but it is still not. The president clarified that this hospital is not a project of the Minsa, but of the Regional Government.
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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