Monday, July 27, 2020
The Ministry of Health didn’t issue their daily report on COVID-19 data until 9 pm after releasing it in the mid-afternoon for the past 4 1/2 months. The Regional Health Directorate of Cusco did not release anything today.
Sadly, no matter what time I go to sleep, I’m constantly waking up to check for updates on this and all matters relating to the current situation. [I’m updating the Minsa COVID report at 10:30 tonight after waking up and noticing a report had been made.]
Some kind of announcement is expected in the next day or two about the current State of Emergency which is set to expire on Saturday. There was no meeting of the Council of Ministers today.
Tomorrow is a national holiday — Independence Day. It’s possible that an announcement won’t be made by the President, but will be a public decree published in the newspaper El Peruano which makes any decrees official.
The uncertainty of what lies ahead with only a few days left in the current State of Emergency is frustrating, to say the least.
If you want to help Peruvians who really need help, please consider supporting Amy Crawford’s next project here: Food for Cusco – Ausangate Project.
You can wait for the daily updates to be posted in the late afternoon/early evening, or your can follow me on Twitter (@ExploreCusco) to get immediate updates on breaking news during the day. I use Twitter to share big news that occurs during each day (and a lot is happening right now) and I strongly recommend that you follow me on Twitter to get immediate updates.
You can also follow me on Instagram (@SouthAmericanTraveler) for great photos, but I use Twitter for news updates.
Daily COVID Update from Minsa
Late tonight the Ministry of Health reported 4,920 new cases of COVID-19 and 189 more COVID-related deaths.
The positivity rate of testing has risen to a frightening 24.6% — the highest since June 8.
There are 13,450 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 1,439 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation. So far 272,547 people completed their period of home isolation or were discharged from a health facility.
Minsa apparently is no longer reporting COVID data from individual regions.
Face Protectors Now Required on Buses
Starting today, Monday, July 27, a fine of 420 soles will be applied to drivers, collectors and owners of public transport units that allow passengers to board without masks or face protection, as established by the regulation as a measure to reduce the risk of contagion of COVID-19.
The Urban Transport Authority (ATU) informed that the drivers of the offending transport units will also have their driver’s license withheld, while passengers without such protective elements (mask and face shield) will be removed from the vehicle unit.
Eduardo Melgar, Director of Inspection and Sanction of the ATU, said that transport collectors, as well as all passengers must use face shields while on board the units because, according to the Ministry of Health (Minsa), wearing these implements reduces the chances of contagion.
“A driver who allows passengers to board or remain in the unit without the respective face shield will be fined in addition to having his or her driver’s license withheld,” he said.
According to the protocol issued by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, since last Monday, July 20, passengers are required to wear the face shield in the transport units, in addition to the mask, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But now, the rule also establishes the payment of a fine for non-compliance. [Note: This rule has been mostly ignored in Cusco.]
The Municipality of Lima, in charge of the Metropolitan and complementary corridors, as well as the concessionary company of the Lima Metro, reported that users who do not wear the face shield will not be able to use both transport systems, enter the stations or board the buses.
In Cusco, no standing passengers are allowed and passengers will only board through the front door with face mask and face protector and exit through the back of the vehicle.
Ucayali Requests Quarantine for Three Provinces
The Ucayali COVID-19 Command has decided to request the central government for quarantine focused in the provinces with high infections rate: Coronel Portillo, Atalaya, y Padre Abad.
This decision was taken after a meeting of the authorities that make up the team seeking solutions to curb the advancement of the virus, which also reported on the increase in cases in Ucayali.
Deputy Governor Angel Gutiérrez also reported that in the coming weeks a campaign hospital will be installed and that a laboratory will be implemented for molecular testing. He said that the concern also lies with increases in positive cases in children.
The Ucayali region, according to the latest report of the Regional Directorate of Ucayali, has 18,158 positive cases of COVID-19 with number of cases and deaths increasing.
Police Out in Force on Independence Day
More than 90,000 police officers will guard all regions of the country and ensure strict compliance with the rules during the Fiestas Patrias, Interior Minister Jorge Montoya said today, presenting the “Fiestas Patrias 2020” operations plan.
During the conference held at the Directorate of Police Aviation (Diravpol), the head of the Interior sector emphasized that the mass deployment will optimize the police response capacity and ensure the proper development of official activities to be carried out during the national holidays.
Minister Montoya also stressed that the National Police will make use of high-tech equipment in the operations in order to improve the capacity to respond to crime.
“During the Fiestas Patrias, the NPP will continue with the use of drones and geolocation to detect criminal acts and encourage the timely capture of common criminals, as well as the dismantling of criminal gangs. Likewise, we will intensify preventive patrols,” he said.
The “Fiestas Patrias 2020” operations plan is part of the “Fortaleza 2020” security plan implemented by the NPP throughout the country.
In this way, more than 90,000 police officers and specialized units will be on high alert in all macro regions and police fronts in Peru. Also, of that total, 30,000 agents will guard the streets in Lima and Callao.
Roadside surveillance, preventive patrolling, riot control and operational police intelligence will also be reinforced.
Minsa Looking Into Discrepancies in COVID Data
The Minister of Health acknowledged that there is a “significant gap” in the figures currently handled by the government with respect to cases of the disease.
Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti said on Sunday night that the number of deaths from the new coronavirus nationwide would rise to 25,000, counting the suspected cases of people who died from the disease.
She explained that this sum of suspicious cases was made when taking into account the suggestion made by the commission in charge of updating the number of deaths from COVID-19. He added that this week there will be a new update regarding the number of deaths.
“We have added suspects, for example, today there are 18,000 deaths in total, 7,000 suspects have been added (…) In total 25,000 thousand confirmed and suspected deaths,” said Mazzetti to the Sunday Punto Final.
Mazzetti said there is also a difference with the figures handled by the National Death System (Sinadef), which put the number of deaths from the disease at 43,000. He explained that the gap between the two registries will have to be addressed, as we do not have the capacity in the system to do so at the moment.
“We still have a gap with Sinadef of about 15,000 (…) That gap with Sinadef, as in other parts of the world, is going to have to be cleared up little by little. When we have enough staff and time to do so. Right now it’s not going to be possible, we all have to be clear about that,” he said.
Mazzetti said that in this case a “death analysis” must be performed, which is more laborious because it requires verifying the medical records of all the deceased, in addition to field work for deaths that did not take place in hospitals.
“The death analysis that is done is after, because one has to take the stories and one has to go one by one, if there is a story and then one does what is called a verbal autopsy, talk to the relatives if it has been at home, there you see how many can pass to the final death group,” said the minister.
PeruRail Responds to Charges of Train Crowding
PeruRail, the rail operator that covers the Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu route in Cusco, spoke out after passengers were reported to be travelling standing up and not maintaining a social distance at the Piscacucho station, where images showed a serious breach in the measures decreed by the government to stop the advance of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) according to La Republica.
“The events recorded on Wednesday, July 22, occurred at the intermediate stop of the Community of Piscacucho, where a group of unidentified people who were not residents of the town forcibly boarded the Local Train, thus violating the indications of limited space and health protocol, in addition to avoiding going through the health control at the Ollantaytambo Station,” the statement said.
In this regard, PeruRail stressed that the local train service, also known as the ‘Tren Macho’ by the locals, is the only means of transport that serves the people of Machu Picchu and the communities located near the railway line on the route Ollantaytambo – Machupicchu – Hydroelectric, so that they can perform essential activities such as food and medicine supply, access to health services, banking and others.
“The residents’ boarding to access this service is done at the Ollantaytambo Station and the Machu Picchu Pueblo Station, where people must obligatorily comply with all the sanitary protocols established by the railroad infrastructure concessionaire to enter these facilities,” the company says.
PeruRail’s local train has been operating since July 8th with 4 frequencies/hours on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays to meet the transportation needs of the inhabitants of these areas.
Misc News Highlights
- More than 500 municipal workers in Arequipa, including public cleaning workers and Public Safety service personnel, tested positive for COVID-19, reported the secretary of the municipality’s Workers Union, Severo Molina.
- The president of the Medical Federation of Cajamarca, Oscar Julcamoro, rejected the expressions of the Minister of Defense, Walter Martos, who said that the new coronavirus pandemic is under control in this region.
- The Regional Government of San Martín presented its Indigenous COVID-19 Command that will be in charge of executing actions to protect the inhabitants of the Awajún, Shawi and Kichwa ethnic groups living in that region from the coronavirus.
- The Ministry of Health sent ten health professionals to implement the ‘Plan for Reorganization and Improvement of the Flow of Health Care for Positive Patients by Covid-19’ at the Honorio Delgado Regional Hospital in Arequipa. The delegation, led by intensivist physician Inés Cárdenas, responsible for the Emergency Operations Center (COE Salud), includes three general physicians, a graduate in Nursing, two technical nurses, as well as two emergency and disaster brigades and a technical collaborator from the COE Salud.
- The Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for the Crime of Corruption of Public Officials in Ancash revealed that the report presented by citizen Gilmer Asis, about the alleged disappearance of mechanical fans in the Victor Ramos Hospital, is false.
- The work of installing an oxygen plant in the Ferreñafe Reference Hospital of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), in the region of Lambayeque, has been paralyzed since June 15, which affects the care of patients with COVID-19, said the commissioner of the Ombudsman’s Office, Julio Hidalgo.
- The General Inspectorate of the National Police is investigating 57 officers from the Lambayeque region for having committed serious offences, according to the head of the Second Macro Police Region of Lambayeque, General Luis Vera.
- The regional governor of Lambayeque, Anselmo Lozano, has ordered all 182 health facilities to distribute the COVID-19 medical kits, in order to combat the disease from the first symptoms without the need for a rapid test.
- While tomorrow is a national holiday — Fiestas Patrias (Independence Day) — the day after, Wednesday, will be a normal working day this year instead of being part of the holiday, too. This change was made so that people would be working in order to help get the national economy moving towards recovery.
Please feel free to leave a comment below. I love to hear what people think! If you like this, you can share this page with the links below or even subscribe so that you’ll be notified when I post again. (I don’t sell anything here or get any commission from any place I recommend, so you don’t have to worry about that.)