There are some really good trends starting to show for Peru, but with the prevalence of the Brazilian P.1 COVID variant, April was by far the worst month the country has endured since the pandemic began back in March, 2020.
Unfortunately, things are not looking good in the Cusco region (where I live) and there are signs that things are only going to get worse.
HOSPITALIZATIONS IN PERU
The number of people in ICU continues to climb very, vey slowly, but that is certainly a result of ICU beds slowly being added across the country each week. The need for more beds has been an issue all along and the virulence of the Brazilian variant has only increased the need for more.
Remember that at the start of the pandemic Peru only had 100 ICU beds spread across the entire country! Not only will Peru benefit from now having sufficient facilities, but the addition of many new medical personnel trained for ICU care will make an important long term difference in the country’s medical system.
POSITIVITY RATES OF TESTING IN PERU
The positivity rates of testing in Peru has gone up and down during the past month thanks to occasional high numbers for individual days, but now the trend appears to be consistently dropping and doing so surprisingly fast considering that the Brazilian variant has been shown to be as much as 2.2 times more contagious than the original COVID-19 virus.
While it’s certainly not enough time to mean much, the last 2 days of April showed positivity rates of testing to be just below 10% — a huge drop from the second wave’s high in early February. Keep your fingers crossed that this will actually prove to be a trend.
COVID DEATHS IN PERU
No month even comes close to what happened in Peru during April. Over 320 people a day died each day during the past month — an increase of 82% over the previous month!
It’s very likely that these numbers will continue to rise for a little more as the last five days of the month saw an average of 355 deaths a day.
The good thing is that deaths are known as a “trailing indicator” which generally means they will decrease as positivity rates decrease. That takes a few weeks to start to show up, but I expect it will happen as long as positivity rates continue their drop.
COVID IN CUSCO
Just when things were starting to look good, rising numbers at the end of the month might prove to be a concern.
(Indeed, as I started writing this morning, the data for Cusco on May 1 was released and, though testing numbers were lower, the positivity rate shot up to 53%! That means over half the people tested yesterday were found to be infected.)
Positivity rates in the region had been dropping, but the past 4 days have seen a rise again. It’ll take a few more days to know for sure if this is a trend.
Deaths rates had also begun to drop, but did go up a little in the last three days. The numbers are not yet a concern again, but, as explained above regarding deaths being a “trailing indicator,” the rise in positivity rates might soon result in increased COVID deaths.
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