At almost the same time as last night’s press conference from the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers was beginning, the Ministry of Health released the latest data on the COVID situation in Peru.
Assuming the Council of Ministers had already seen this data, I was quite shocked that they made absolutely no changes in the restrictions across the country. None. People are dying in Peru at a rate that far exceeds any point since the pandemic began nearly 13 months ago, but they appear to have their heads in the sand for reasons unknown.
On March 31, Minsa dropped the reported number of COVID hospitalizations by over 2,000 without ever giving an explanation. Apparently they considered the numbers a correction rather than a reporting error as there were no more corrections.
Since that time, the number of hospitalizations rose steadily again until the past two days when there were significant drops reported. Frankly, this isn’t normal, but there’s no explanation for what’s going on. It’s possible that the issues are due to reporting problems at the local and regional level, but it would be nice if Minsa would explain.
Minsa also reported a huge decrease in the number of people reported in ICU units across the country on March 31, but those numbers appeared to be corrected the following day. The numbers continued to rise slowly as more ICU units have been added, but those number dropped a lot over the past two days for regions unexplained — something not very likely given reports from across the country of full ICU units and people waiting to get a bed.
Peru continues to test at rates far higher than during the first wave. While positivity rates were climbing quickly again over the past week, the last 3 days have shown a drop-off. While that’s too short a time to see a trend, it’s still encouraging and hopefully it will prove to be a trend in the next week.
I saved the worst for last — and it’s is very, very frightening. Right now Peru is seeing far more COVID related deaths than at any point in the past 13 months.
In the first seven days of April, there have already been more deaths than in each of the months of November and December. There has been an average of 259.7 deaths a day — that’s a 32% increase over the previous worst month (February) since the pandemic began.
Just how dramatic is the increase in deaths recently is even more clear when you look at how things have gone since June 6 when Minsa got a handle on its data reporting.
With the Brazilian P.1. variant becoming more prevalent across the country — and possibly already is the most prevalent — it’s likely that all these numbers will continue to climb.
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