Sunday, June 28, 2020
For much of the country, this is the last Sunday under lockdown unless there is a resurgence and it is imposed once again. (For those who think that won’t happen, don’t bet against it.)
There are still a lot of questions that have not been answered in the Cusco region, but I have a feeling that they have not been answered in other places, too.
For example, there has been no word on interprovincial travel within the region. For more than 3 months there has been no normal transportation between the main city — in our case Cusco — and the thousands of smaller communities spread out throughout the region. Will public transportation using taxis and colectivos be allowed to operate on July 1 and what will be the protocols that will be required to help insure safety of the passengers and operators?
I’m certain that there is a plan ready to go for this, but it has not been released yet and people are expecting things to open up in about three days.
Many times a day, I am scouring every news source I can find including the Twitter accounts of various government officials seeking answers to these and countless other questions so keep checking back regularly.
Questions and Answers About to the New Rules
RPP Noticias did a really good piece yesterday afternoon about what will change on July 1. As there still seems to be a lot of confusion, this is a very good summary:
Who should continue in social isolation?
At the national level, and without exception, children and adolescents under 14 years of age, as well as persons in risk groups such as adults over 65 years of age and persons with comorbidities as determined by the National Health Authority.
Where is compulsory social isolation maintained?
The Government has ordered that compulsory social isolation (quarantine) be maintained in the departments of Arequipa, Ica, Junín, Huánuco, San Martín, Madre de Dios and Áncash. In the rest of the country, the confinement is lifted.
In the above-mentioned regions, the movement of persons is permitted only for the provision of and access to essential services and goods, as well as for the provision of services of authorized economic activities.
Where is social restraint mandatory?
At the national level, there is mandatory social immobilization (curfew) for all persons in their homes from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. the following day, Monday through Sunday, with the exception of the departments of Arequipa, Ica, Junín, Huánuco, San Martín, Madre de Dios and Áncash.
In those regions, the mandatory curfew is in effect from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. the following day. On Sundays, the mandatory social security detention is for the entire day.
During the curfew, strictly necessary personnel involved in the provision of food, health, medical, financial and other services may move about. The movement of people requiring urgent or emergency medical care is also permitted.
What activities are not allowed?
The exercise of constitutional rights relating to personal freedom and security is restricted. Also the inviolability of the home and the freedom of assembly and transit in the territory.
Is it possible to circulate on Sundays at the national level?
The Government has lifted the ban that prevented its citizens from leaving their homes on Sundays during the state of emergency due to the new coronavirus.
However, this measure does not apply to the inhabitants of the seven regions where this restriction is maintained as part of the mandatory quarantine which they must continue to comply with. In the rest of the country, the mandatory social immobilization (curfew) on Sunday will only apply between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. on Monday.
Will I be able to travel anywhere in the country in July?
The president of the Council of Ministers, Vicente Zeballos, announced that the regions of Arequipa, Ica, Junín, Huánuco, San Martín, Madre de Dios and Áncash are not considered within the resumption of domestic flights and intercity transportation contemplated in the third stage of the economic recovery, which is scheduled for July.
What happens if there is a resurgence?
Defense Minister Walter Martos said the government is confident that there will be no resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks with the lifting of the quarantine. However, he assured that, in case this happens, the government will not hesitate to resume some past restrictions such as total immobilization on Sundays or tightening the curfew.
Will restaurants welcome the public in their premises?
Minister Martos said in RPP that in a few days the activities that will be activated in this third phase of economic reactivation will be published. Among these, he mentioned the opening of the restaurants “with some on-site assistance.” In this regard, he noted that in the last Council of Ministers, the Ministers of Foreign Trade and Production explained the protocols that have been implemented as the social distance and the capacity.
Contract Signed to Complete Two Major Hospitals
The governments of Peru and France today signed a contract for the improvement and/or expansion of health services at the Antonio Lorena Hospital in Cuzco and the Sergio Bernales Hospital in Lima, through a state-to-state agreement that will benefit more than 3.4 million people between the two projects.
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) informed that this system will be implemented through its National Health Investment Program (Pronis), which will invest a total of US$ 19,462,133.74 so that the companies Egis Batiments International and AP-HP International, designated by the French Government, can execute the projects. It should be noted that this execution modality does not mean a privatization of health services.
For his part, the Regional Governor of Cusco, Jean Paul Benavente, mentioned that the agreement for the improvement of the Antonio Lorena Hospital is a message of the fight against corruption and thanked the President of the Peru for providing a solution to this problem. “Lorena means a better tomorrow. I only hope that these projects are executed in the right time for the benefit of our Cusco population,” he said.
It is worth mentioning that the service will be provided in a total period of 34 months, counting from the day after the cash payment of the advance by Pronis. The completion of the Antonio Lorena Hospital in Cusco, which has already been under construction for 8 years, is expected to be completed within 14-15 months.
Daily COVID Update from Minsa
The Ministry of Health reported 3,430 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the nationwide total to 279,419. They also reported 182 deaths which for a total of 9.317 across all of Peru.
There are 10,861 patients hospitalized with Covid-19, of which 1,178 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation. So far 167,998 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 156,172 followed by the regions of Callao (17 871), Piura (16 634), Lambayeque (13 475), La Libertad (9692), Loreto (8904), Ancash (7828), Ucayali (7619), Ica (7121), Arequipa (6823), San Martín (4548), Junín (3721), Tumbes (2607), Huánuco (2215), Amazonas (2020), Cajamarca (1983), Cusco (1760), Ayacucho (1743), Madre de Dios (1636), Pasco (936), Moquegua (928), Huancavelica (881), Tacna (876), Puno (874) and Apurimac (552).
Mincetur Assistance for Tourism
The Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Edgar Vasquez, announced that the Ministry approved the creation of the Business Support Fund (FAE), aimed at micro and small enterprises (mypes) in the tourism sector to provide them with resources to start up again.
“This FAE Tourism will have government guarantees of 500 million soles and through the Banco de Desarrollo del Peru (Cofide) we will leverage credits from the financial system. In a moderate estimate, since we consider that these resources can serve to leverage credits for approximately 1,500 million soles in favor of the mypes of the tourism sector,” he commented to the Andean Agency.
[Mype is the common Spanish acronym for mico and small businesses.]
Vasquez said that this initiative incorporates some special conditions, taking into account the characteristics of the sector in relation to existing programs such as Reactiva Peru and FAE Mype.
“These programs, for example, have a four-year credit horizon. In the case of FAE Tourism this term is extended to five years. While the grace period of Reactiva Peru and FAE Mype is 12 months, in the case of FAE Tourism this period is 18 months,” he said.
Vasquez said that the tourism sector activities that will benefit from this initiative will be restaurants, lodging, travel agencies, tour guide companies, production and marketing of handicrafts, tourist and interprovincial transport, organizers of events, conventions and fairs, among others.
The head of Mincetur also highlighted an initiative aimed at injecting greater resources to the Turismo Emprende program, which has had good results since its implementation.
“Turismo Emprende” had annual resources of three or four million soles that were delivered in non-reimbursable competitive funds in favor of the mype. However, Mincetur has approved the increase of these funds for this year to 50 million soles; in other words, we are more than multiplying by 10 the resources for this important program,” he explained.
In this way, added Vasquez, will benefit the development of innovative projects, the implementation of technological and health adjustments required by companies in the sector, the reactivation and conversion of businesses that were affected by the situation.
Provincial and District COVID stats in Cusco
The question about the spread of COVID-19 among the Cusco region’s provinces and districts comes up regularly and sometimes the Regional Health Directorate will post some statistics addressing this. Here are charts for the various provinces and districts as reported yesterday. (As always, click on each to see a larger image)
Peru Leadership Travels to Ayacucho
The Prime Minister, Vicente Zeballos, traveled to the Ayacucho region to supervise the operation of the health services against the coronavirus.
He was accompanied by the Minister of Health, Victor Zamora, the Minister of Women, Gloria Montenegro; the Minister of Housing, Rodolfo Yañez, the Minister of Cutura, Alejandro Neyra, the head of the Covid Command, Pilar Mazzetti, the deputy minister of Human Rights, Daniel Sánchez, the deputy minister of Vulnerable Populations, Cecilia Aldave, the deputy minister of Cultural Heritage, Leslie Urtega, and the deputy minister of Housing, David Ramos.
The authorities moved 5,000 molecular tests to the Ayacucho region, which has a laboratory accredited by the National Institute of Health (INS).
In addition, the delegation will deliver a shipment of 1850 kg that includes personal protection equipment, masks, medicines and four mechanical ventilators donated by the United States.
COVID in Cusco’s Native Communities
Concern is growing in the native communities of the Megantoni district in the Cusco province of La Convención. The health sector confirmed three new cases of COVID-19 in the native community of Miaría, located on the geographic border with the Ucayali region.
Doctor Luis Alberto Adauto, of the Microred Sepahua, informed a media outlet of La Convención that the patients arrived at the health facility with breathing problems and, after giving them the rapid test, they tested positive. They are a man and two women, one of them at 33 weeks pregancy.
“They are stable, they have been given the corresponding treatment and they are being isolated in an educational institution in the area so that they can be followed up. The logistics of the stay are being covered by the District Municipality of Megantoni,” he said.
The fear increases because the health facility in Sepahua and those in Megantoni are not equipped, said Tangoshiari native chief Gilberto Chinchay.
According to Camisea’s Microred, an early intervention would be initiated to rule out more cases in Miaria. “If the cases increase, it is expected that they are going through a weak clinical stage, perhaps some can reach moderate, but not serious because that would imply other types of equipment. In Sepahua, for example, we already have three moderate cases,” he said.
These three cases are in addition to the one that was confirmed a week ago in the community of Ticumpinía-Chokoriari, where a worker from the company SICIM, contractor of the Transportadora de Gas del Perú (TGP), tested positive for COVID-19
Cusco to Have Sufficient Oxygen Supplies
The Industrias Cachimayo factory produces enough medicinal oxygen to supply the hospitals in the Cusco region. Pablo Grajeda, head of health intelligence at the Regional Health Directorate, said that the warmth of the oxygen is optimal and all that remains is for Cachimayo to complete some formal procedures to begin packaging the product. In two or three weeks the packaging process will begin for distribution to health facilities.
Governor Jean Paul Benavente met Thursday in Lima with the Vice Minister of Health, Victor Bocangel, to speed up the procedures that will allow Cachimayo to process the essential input to treat and care for patients affected by the new coronavirus and other diseases affecting the lungs and other organs.
Grajeda said another difficulty is that in order to guarantee the production of oxygen Cachimayo also needs to ensure the sale of nitrate. That is why Governor Benavente and his counterpart in Apurímac, Baltazar Lantarón, are coordinating actions to commit the mining companies operating in both regions to acquire the nitrate.
“What we are actually doing is managing the start-up of the production of medical oxygen that Industrias Cachimayo was doing until a few years ago. This will allow us to supply oxygen not only to our hospitals in the city at zero cost, but we will also have the opportunity to export oxygen to other regions that need it,” said Dario Navarro, regional health director.
Misc News Highlights
- Gloria Montenegro, Minister of Women’s Affairs, explained in RPP Noticias that the Electricity Bond means that a direct amount of 160 soles will be given to companies that provide electricity supply to cover users’ arrears.
- In the coming days oxygen plant installed in the district hospital of Laredo, Trujillo, will begin operation through an agreement between the Regional Government of La Libertad and private enterprise.
- The Ministry of Health reported that it will restart vaccination of 614,000 children nationwide who missed out on their doses due to the state of emergency quarantine.
- Pedro Bogarín, regional governor of San Martín, told RPP Noticias that the pandemic has surpassed any planning in the region and is already being dealt with by COVID-19 in 10 provinces. He says that they are “on the verge of collapse” on health issues to continue fighting the COVID-19.
- The National Police arrested seven men who were playing soccer, without wearing masks, on a sports field in the Arequipa district of Paucarpata, during the quarantine.
- Arequipa’s COVID-19 Operational Command received a donation consisting of oxygen bottles, isolation capsules, secretion aspirators, personal protection equipment, cleaning supplies, among others; which will be delivered to hospitals, local governments and the fire company.
- Puno’s Regional Directorate of Education reported that no school will restart classes this July 1st, because there is still a risk of new coronavirus infection for thousands of students.
- More than five thousand informal merchants sell their merchandise around the Mercado Modelo in Chiclayo, reported the city’s mayor, Marcos Gasco.
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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