Sunday, August 9, 2020
There’s still no word on the Council of Ministers agreeing to the request from the authorities in Cusco to institute a stricter 14-day quarantine period beginning tomorrow. If there should be any last minute announcement, I’ll post it immediately on Twitter.
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’m getting pretty good at using 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.
In the meantime, here’s short piece I filmed yesterday just above my home in the mountains above Cusco. I’m trying to put together a short film for a competition I entered in the spring and may use some of these clips. No matter what, its fun to get out and explore the beautiful countryside where live.
Daily COVID Update from Minsa
Last night Peru’s Ministry of Health reported 7,137 more cases of COVID-19 which is a big drop from the previous day.
They also reported 195 more deaths which is a 13% drop from the previous day’s record high.
The positivity rate declined slightly again to 28.1%.
There are 13 680 patients hospitalized by COVID-19, of which 1474 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation.
So far 319 171 people completed their period of home isolation or were discharged from a health facility.
COVID in Cusco
The Regional Health Directorate reported 892 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths.
The positivity rate dropped significantly to 20.6%. That’s still very high, but it’s the lowest in five days and breaks the increasing trend despite a large number of tests being reported.
There was not report on the availability of hospital beds which had not been sufficient for all with need.
Peru’s Ombudsman Asks for National Agenda to Fight COVID
RPP Noticias reports that Peru’s Ombudsman, Walter Gutiérrez, proposed to the Executive Branch the implementation of a three-pronged national agenda to overcome the current crisis in the country due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
Through a document addressed to the President of the Council of Ministers, Walter Martos, the head of the agency proposed to guide the general policy of the government in the management of the health crisis, the response to the social crisis and economic recovery.
Gutiérrez pointed out that, since it is in a phase of community contagion, the protection and defense response to the COVID-19 must be community-based, based on the active participation of organised civil society.
For the Ombudsman, the increase in the number of infections and deaths in recent weeks makes it essential that the State implements the proposal made by this institution a few months ago to make effective the universal, extended and free delivery of masks to the population for their self-protection.
The second area addressed in the document is related to the response to the social crisis that affects the fundamental rights of the vulnerable population and is manifested in areas such as education, food, housing and violence against children, adolescents and women.
After recalling figures reported by the Ombudsman’s Office, such as the disappearance of more than 900 women, children and adolescents during the quarantine, Walter Gutiérrez considered that the Executive should implement, as a matter of urgency, different situation rooms that would allow it to monitor the effects of the pandemic by specific sectors, with management indicators and figures updated weekly. In this way, the State complies with its obligation to guarantee the right of citizens to have information that is indispensable for their self-protection.
He also said that, in the face of the economic crisis that has led to the loss of 2.7 million jobs in Metropolitan Lima alone, it is urgent to progressively and sustainably rebuild the economic fabric that will enable families to recover their jobs, create income and thus deal with the impact of the crisis. “The best remedy to the economic crisis is job creation,” he said.
The Ombudsman asked the President of the Council of Ministers to implement the three axes in view of the presentation that the Ministerial Cabinet will make this Tuesday, August 11, before Congress.
“Respiro Cusco” Campaign Collects More than 370,000 Soles
RPP Noticias reports that more than 370,000 soles were collected during the “Respiro Cusco” campaign to raise money to buy medical oxygen bottles for patients with COVID-19 who require it.
Father Heber Challco, representative of the Archbishopric of Cusco in the COVID-19 command, confirmed to RPP that the citizens, companies, authorities joined efforts and the objective was achieved.
The amount registered in the banks is not the only one, according to Father Heber. Donations made in amphorae, money collected in parishes, as well as deposits from companies that are still pending, have yet to be accounted for.
It was indicated that the general amount of money collected will be known on Monday and with it it will be possible to acquire more than 300 bottles of medical oxygen that is required in the city whose health system is collapsed, as confirmed by the Regional Health Office.
Cusco has guaranteed the provision of medical oxygen after an agreement signed between the plant of Cachimayo and the Regional Government, however, there are not enough balls where to store it.
Father Heber Challco said that a bottle of oxygen can cost up to 7,000 soles However, as a church, they are seeking options at lower cost. He said the bottless must be purchased as soon as possible due to the collapse of the health care system and the rapid increase in infections.
The bank accounts, which are in the social networks of the Archbishop of Cusco, will continue to be open until August 30.
ScotiaBank Reports Signs of Recovery in Some Sectors
According to ScotiaBank Research, various sectors such as construction, supermarkets, household items, telecommunications and medicine have started to recover, and this trend will continue over the rest of the year.
“We believe that recovery begins when people trust their own businesses and the market. It is time to get back on track and boost growth again, buying and selling,” Scotiabank Peru Senior Vice President of Retail Banking & CMF Ignacio Quintanilla affirmed.
“We see with enthusiasm that consumption through debit and credit cards is higher than it was in the same month last year in some sectors of the economy,” the executive stated.
He referred to the use of debit cards, saying the construction sector posted the highest growth, almost doubling the consumption registered in July 2019.
On the other hand, consumption saw an increase of 46% in supermarkets, 42% in household items, 36% in telecommunications, 29% in medicine, as well as 25% in food and groceries, compared to last year.
Under a similar scenario, the use of credit cards showed an improvement in consumption.
Segments such as life insurance and home improvement post gains of 5% and 3%, respectively, when compared to the same month in 2019.
In the case of restaurants, travel and accommodation, figures are significantly lower than those reported the year before, due to the situation.
“Restaurants, travel and accommodation still struggle to recover, due to the current situation,” Quintanilla added.
Peru Reports Trade Surplus in June
Peru’s recorded a US$434 million surplus trade balance in June, reversing the deficit registered in April and May this year according to the Central Reserve Bank of Peru (BCR).
This is a result of an increase in exports, particularly of traditional products reports the BCR.
With this, the country’s trade balance registered a surplus of US$810 million in the first half of 2020.
In June, exports amounted to US$2.68 billion —a 35.5% rise compared to the previous month.
Such exports were boosted by rising foreign sales of traditional products (46.6%) —mainly mining sales— and non-traditional products (16.3%).
Shipments of agricultural, textile, and iron-steel products stood out in the latter group.
Meanwhile, imports totaled US$2.246 billion in June, up 2% over May, due to the increase in foreign purchases of consumer and capital goods.
Champions League Quarterfinals
This isn’t related to COVID or Peru, but since the Peruvian Liga 1 has been suspended, we can look ahead to the European Champions League quarterfinals coming up (all games start at 2 pm):
Wednesday – Atalanta v Paris – Saint Germain
Thursday – RB Leipzeig v Atletico Madrid
Friday – Barcelona v Bayern Munich
Saturday – Manchester City v Lyon
Misc News Highlights
- Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti warned that the country could return to stricter containment measures if the numbers of infections and deaths from COVID-19 continue to rise. “If the levels get worse. We have to go back to the previous measures if we see that they continue to rise. If we exceed and they continue to rise, we have to reconsider everything,” she said in an interview with the newspaper La República this morning.
- The Executive Branch has approved Urgency Decree 093-2020, which is an extension of a previous mandate that introduces measures to expand the number of institutions providing health services and strengthen the health response within the framework of the state of emergency decreed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This order, published on Saturday in El Peruano official gazette, aims to adopt extraordinary measures —in economic and financial matters— in order to expand and guarantee operations at temporary care and isolation centers for COVID-19 patients called La Videnita (Piura region) and Cerro Juli (Arequipa region).
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