Friday, July 31, 2020
As of Friday morning we were all still waiting for an announcement from the government regarding the expected extension of the current State of Emergency which was about to expire.
Early in the morning, all of Peru’s major news agencies reported that Peru’s Minister of Housing, Construction, Sanitation, Carlos Lozada, confirmed that the Council of Ministers will extend the current State of Emergency through August 31 and that focused quarantines are being evaluated including provinces in Arequipa, Tacna, Puno, and Cusco.
Early in the afternoon, a Supreme Decree laying everything out was officially published in the newspaper El Peruano. (see details below)
I’ve been incredibly busy with tons of questions on social media. I hope I’ve been able to answer enough of them satisfactorily, but I know one answer always seems to lead to another question in times like this.
I’ll be honest — I’m really tired and am going to close out today’s report now. I think I’ve reported all the major stuff. I know there will be a lot more details coming.
Stay safe and well!
One of the most important parts of the announcement was the provision that economic activities that had already been approved may continue to be approved, but with restrictions.
Unfortunately, those restrictions will come from the local and regional authorities and there’s nothing we can do except wait.
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.
Peru’s State of Emergency Extended Through August 31
According to the Supreme Decree No. 135-2020-PCM published this afternoon, as of tomorrow quarantines (obligatory social isolation) are established:
- in the departments of Arequipa, Ica, Junín, Huánuco and San Martín
- in the province of Tambopata in the department of Madre de Dios
- in the provinces of Santa, Casma and Huaraz in the department of Ancash
- in the provinces of Mariscal Nieto and Ilo in the department of Moquegua
- in the province of Tacna in the department of Tacna
- in the provinces of Cusco and La Convención in the department of Cusco
- in the provinces of San Román and Puno in the department of Puno
- in the province of Huancavelica in the department of Huancavelica
- in the provinces of Cajamarca, Jaén and San Ignacio in the department of Cajamarca
- in the provinces of Bagua, Condorcanqui and Utcubamba in the department of Amazonas
- in the provinces of Abancay and Andahuaylas in the department of Apurímac
People are permitted to go out “solely for the provision of and access to essential services and goods, and for the provision of services of the economic activities authorized at the entry into force of this supreme decree.”
All people shall adhere to the curfew hours of 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. each day except in the above listed areas.
In the areas specifically listed above, the curfew begins at 8 p.m until 04:00 am and all day on Sunday.
This is valid through August 31.
Daily COVID Update from Minsa
Late last night the Ministry of Health reported 6,809 new cases of COVID-19 and 205 new COVID-related deaths.
There are 13,438 patients hospitalized with Covid-19, of which 1,421 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation. So far 283,915 people completed their period of home isolation or were discharged from a health facility.
Metropolitan Lima continues to be the area with the highest number of Covid-19 infections, with 196,476 positive cases, and Lima provinces with 17,183 cases followed by the regions of Callao (21,045), Piura (21,069), Lambayeque (17,111), La Libertad (14,936), Arequipa (13,480), Ancash (11,796), Ica (12,213), Loreto (11,292), , Ucayali (9941), San Martín (8565), Junín (7526), Huánuco (6092), Cajamarca (5877), Amazonas (5507), Tumbes (4133), Cusco (4157), Ayacucho (3726), Madre de Dios (3274), Moquegua (2829), Tacna (2733), Puno (2178), Pasco (1855), Huancavelica (1618) and Apurimac (880).
Defense Minister on Economic Reactivation
Defense Minister Walter Martos on Thursday told RPP Noticias that Phase 4 of Peru’s economic reactiviation has not been activated for August.
Martos said that the opening of the third phase activities has not yet been completed, so it will be necessary to wait until they are operating to measure their effects and decide which will be the next sectors to be activated.
“The activities of phase 4 are just being planned. We have not yet finished implementing the activities of phase 3. They are still being implemented little by little and we also have to measure the effects of each one of them,” he explained in La Noticia 360.
“This implementation of activities, it is true that they were programmed on a monthly basis, but we also have to take into account in reality how they are developing and see the effects they have in order to take other measures or reactivate other activities. It is not scheduled yet, we do not have a date for the activities of phase 4,” he added.
Martos also that there is also no date for the resumption of international flights, as he considered that it would imply “a serious risk” since it could “bring the virus from other countries”.
“The prudent thing is for us as citizens to be convinced that the pandemic is on a downturn to revive other economic activities, otherwise the situation could get worse. [On international flights restarting] – It could be the end of the year, sooner or later seeing how the pandemic is developing in each region,” he added.
Minister Martos said that for the time being a targeted quarantine is planned “to restrict the movements” of people somewhat. The ministers continually visit the different regions under their charge to recommend to the Council of Ministers in which other regions this type of restriction could be implemented.
He also reported that the Defense sector is coordinating with the Ministry of Health (Minsa) to find a way to massify early treatment. Targeted operations are already being carried out in various districts, where rapid response teams are brought in, screening is carried out and food is delivered to the most vulnerable populations. This is a model that is being replicated.
In the case of the Lima region, Martos acknowledged that it would be “extremely difficult” to apply a targeted quarantine because “each district interacts with the others.
“When we tried to do this in San Juan de Lurigancho more than two months ago, we realized that more than 240,000 people who live there work in other districts. That is why what we are doing are the targeted operations, working with the mayors and the Minsa,” he said.
Likewise, the minister considered that the obligatory social immobilization (curfew) “has to continue”. “It is still not convenient to activate all the activities that are carried out at night because they are mostly for fun I think it is not convenient to lift the curfew yet. The most likely decision is that it will continue,” he said.
Health Minister on ICU Bed Availability
Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti said Thursday that in recent days there has been an increase in patients affected by the new coronavirus who need to be treated in intensive care units, which has led to a reduction in the availability of beds.
At a press conference, the Mazzetti said we currently have 1,569 intensive care beds nationwide, of which 1,421 are occupied. Only 148 beds are currently free, when in previous weeks there were margins that reached 250 available beds.
“Our impression is that people who are getting sick are having more need for intensive care beds and we are seeing on a daily basis that intensive care beds are running out of room (…) The margin is about 150 beds, in the previous weeks we had margins greater than 200 or 250,” he said.
Mazzetti said this is likely due to the fact that, after the quarantine was lifted in most of the country, there has been an increased movement of people who are not respecting prevention measures.
“This is a phenomenon that we are seeing in different places in our country in relation to the fact that we are circulating. This means that by circulating we also relax biosecurity measures, we forget to keep social distance (…) We have given up important economic activities, but this cannot mean that we lower our guard and get sicker,” she said.
Regarding the count of people killed by COVID-19, the minister said that progress is being made with the updating of the figures, but that it will be done progressively. She also said that next week there will be a new report by the Commission appointed by the government to update the figures.
Misc News Highlights
- Cusco’s 75-year-old mayor, Ricardo Valdedrrama, has been moved into intensive care after contracting COVID-19 last week. He currently is not on a ventialtor, but is experiencing severe respiratory distress at Cusco’s EsSalud Antonio Guevara Hospital.
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