Friday, June 26, 2020
The Council of Ministers met again today to discuss the measures taken so far and likely to prepare for what comes after June 30 when the current State of Emergency is scheduled to end.
So far just about every influential outside party has indicated support for an end to the quarantine and the data seems to indicate a positive trend. While no announcement has been made, I think we all expect it to come tomorrow (most likely) or Sunday.
Mass Gatherings Banned At Least Until October
Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra on Thursday affirmed that mass gatherings of people will remain banned until at least the last quarter of the year when the cure or vaccine for COVID-19 is expected to be available.
Speaking from Chimbote (Ancash region), the President announced that the Council of Ministers will meet on Friday to discuss what measures will be put in place starting July 1, taking into account that the state of national emergency would end on June 30.
“Everybody knows that some things should remain as they are. In these 100 days, we have learned what works and what does not work when it comes to combating COVID-19. The things that work should remain as they are,” he told the press.
Vizcarra commented that in the virtual meeting held Wednesday with counterparts from Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, and Argentina, the participants agreed to say that the coronavirus will be defeated when the vaccine or cure is ready, which is expected to occur in the last quarter of the year.
“Until then, we cannot allow mass gatherings of people on sports fields, parties, religious events, social events. Gatherings are prohibited,” he said.
The Peruvian leader emphasized that social distancing also impacts education.
“We must try to maintain distance learning because schools accommodate a large number of students, just like universities. Those activities have to remain in distance learning mode,” the statesman added.
Economy and Finance Minister on the Recovery
Andina News Agency reports that Economy and Finance Minister Maria Antonieta Alva on Thursday affirmed that the challenge of Peru is to achieve comprehensive economic development because crises like the current one —caused by the coronavirus pandemic— make the country very vulnerable.
“I think that the idea of achieving economic development on a comprehensive basis is a big challenge for our country, because the failure to resolve previous problems has made us very vulnerable in this crisis,” she expressed.
The minister stated that most structural problems that had not been resolved in the past years made Peru vulnerable to the crisis.
“For example, four in every ten Peruvians have a bank account. We had this big problem of financial inclusion, which has caused many problems,” the Cabinet member said.
“We have introduced a large-scale money transfer program to disburse around US$220 to each of nearly 7 million households. We generated a great response, but we had problems with its implementation,” she added.
In the roundtable “Debt in emerging markets: a path beyond COVID-19,” organized by Bloomberg, Alva commented that Peru has a very challenging agenda to solve informality.
“In the short term, we have implemented a program of almost 1% of GDP to create temporary jobs and solve basic infrastructure issues. By doing so, we are trying to increase household income through these fiscal programs,” she added.
The high-ranking official highlighted that Peru has a solid economy because the country has done a good job in terms of macroeconomic achievements, as well as in the microeconomic aspect.
Dean of Peruvian Medical Association says Quarantine Should be Lifted
The dean of the Peruvian Medical Association, Miguel Palacios Celi, noted a drop in the number of people infected by COVID-19, mainly in Lima and other regions with the highest number of cases. He also pointed out that since the last few weeks there is evidence that more patients are being discharged.
In an interview with RPP Noticias, the doctor said that for this reason the quarantine should have been lifted “several days ago”. However, he warned of the possibility of possible resurgence in case there is a “relaxation” of the basic measures of social distancing and hygiene to avoid contagion within the citizenry.
After warning that this disease is presenting itself in a differentiated manner at the national level, he recommended that after quarantine is lifted, targeted surveillance be carried out to identify cases, and give priority treatment at the first level of care before cases become complicated.
Similarly, Palacios said it was “unnecessary” to maintain the Sunday curfew “because it has no epidemiological impact. However, he was in favor of maintaining this measure at night to avoid social agglomerations that could lead to more cases of contagion.
In another interview, the dean of the Peruvian Medical Association warned of a possible bureaucratic hurdle when the COVID Command searches a virtual platform for the availability of beds for a patient with this disease before making the decision to send him to a private clinic for treatment.
“It looks like they’re going to bureaucratize it. This step that is being taken, although it seeks to act in an orderly manner, is about patients who are in extreme seriousness and it could be that their health will be harmed. A more agile mechanism should be approved in order to solve the health problem,” he said.
In a dialogue with Ampliación de Noticias, he also warned of the possibility that some clinics are not in favor of signing this agreement because of a “fear” of not complying with some debts held by the State. He also reminded that the budget of the Integral Health Insurance for this year has a lower budget that could harm this financing.
Despite this situation, Palacios considered that, for the Peruvian Medical Association, this agreement recently reached “is not needed” because President Martin Vizcarra has announced the arrival of 250 mechanical ventilators donated by the United States and 400 from China in the coming days.
“On June 30th, 2,500 medical specialists will finish their work and the Peruvian Medical Association has already fully authorized them to work nationwide in the ICU rooms. They will have 650 ventilators and 2500 doctors. The work is then to manage to get this number of ICU beds up and running as soon as possible so that this emergency can be resolved,” he noted.
Government Aiding Electric Users With 160 soles
The Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Gloria Montenegro, announced today that the government approved an electricity bill bonus of 160 soles to cover family consumption, benefiting 24 million Peruvians.
“An electricity bonus of 160 soles was approved for almost 24 million Peruvians to cover their consumption since last March,” she said on her Twitter account.
The minister said that more than 800 million soles are being invested in this way.
Daily COVID Update from Minsa
The Ministry of Health reported 3,762 new cases of COVID-19 which brings the nationwide total to 272,364. They also reported 178 new deaths bringing to the total to 8,939.
There are 10,964 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 1,172 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation. So far, 159,806 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 with 153,068 followed by the regions of Callao (17 580), Piura (16 250), Lambayeque (13 098), La Libertad (9307), Loreto (8786), Ancash (7652), Ucayali (7399), Ica (6851), Arequipa (6535), San Martín (4163), Junín (3558), Tumbes (2479), Huánuco (2089), Amazonas (1916), Cajamarca (1816), Cusco (1698), Ayacucho (1678), Madre de Dios (1549), Pasco (908), Moquegua (907), Huancavelica (860), Tacna (848), Puno (844) and Apurimac (525).
Misc News Highlights
- A group of fishermen from the Puerto Eten district in the Lambayeque region destroyed the entrance to the dock because they say they need to work to support their families according to the district’s mayor, Ewerd Díaz.
- More than 300 vendors who will restart economic activities in the Union and Dignity, Laykakota, Central, Bellavista and San Francisco de Puno markets in Puno were trained on biosecurity measures to reduce the chances of COVID-19 infection.
- The Comptroller General of the Republic determined that 6,778 households in extreme poverty in the region of Puno were not included in the list of beneficiaries of the 380 soles bonus granted by the State at the time of the COVID-19.
- The Ministry of Health (Minsa) sent yesterday, by air, a total of 10 thousand molecular tests, 9 mechanical fans, 3 tons of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), 25 oxygen balloons, 15 particle aspirators and medicines to Tumbes, La Libertad and Junin.
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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