Monday, July 13, 2020
Face Shield Requirements for Local and Interprovincial Travel
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has launched an awareness campaign, which will last at least ten days, for all public transport passengers to wear face shields in addition to the mask. After that time use of face shields will be mandatory.
Minister of the sector, Carlos Lozada, said today, when he pointed out that although the regulation that provides for this obligation was published on Saturday, that during the first ten days of its validity “we will be in a period of ‘white march’, that is to say, without a penalty”.
He explained that, with phase 3 of the economic reopening, the number of people moving in the transport has increased and therefore it was arranged that now all the seats are occupied by passengers, but also the face protector is being added as a protection measure since people will be closer to each other.
“We are in a ‘white march’ that will take a week or 10 days. During that time there will be an aggressive campaign to publicize all the new protocols which must be implemented progressively. Then it will be mandatory and a date will be set to apply sanctions.
Lozada said that the population must be aware of the need to protect themselves and their loved ones and to help ensure that urban public transport does not become a focus for the spread of the coronavirus.
“The capacity of the units has been increased, now everyone can go sitting down, but not standing up. However, since we are already increasing the capacity, we are also adding user protection measures and that is why it is necessary to use face shields,” he said in America Noticias.
The campaign to raise awareness of the new transport protocols will be carried out by Sutran, Promovilidad and the regional governments. According to the minister, there are currently 11 million daily trips in urban transport in Lima and Callao, of which only 10 or 15% use face protection.
He said that the delivery of the 10 million free face protectors, announced a few days ago by the Government, will be made soon through verification thanks to an agreement with Reniec. “Upon receiving the face shield, the user will register his ID card to avoid double delivery”.
Domestic land travel may resume on 15 July, as determined by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC). The guidelines were determined in Ministerial Resolution No. 0386-2020-MTC/01.
Passengers will be required to wear face shields and masks when boarding buses and throughout the trip. In addition, they must submit an affidavit of health in which they assure that they are not infected with the coronavirus. Only those who will be traveling will be allowed to enter the bus terminal and have their temperature taken. No accompanying persons will be allowed.
The units of the transport companies will be able to operate at 100% of their capacity, as long as they have a polyethylene curtain between one seat and another, avoiding contact between passengers. If there is no curtain, then only those seats adjacent to the window may be used.
Passengers are not allowed to walk. Also, the head of the MTC, Carlos Lozada, indicated that it will be forbidden for buses to make stops during the journey. The company must place a division that isolates the driver in case it does not have a cabin. Likewise, drivers must verify the capacity and immediately inform the transport company and the health authorities if a patient with symptoms of COVID-19 is identified.
The vehicle units must be cleaned and disinfected before and after the day.
No travel to and from the regions of Ancash, Arequipa, Huánuco, Ica, Junín, Madre de Dios and San Martín will be allowed though Lozada said that interprovincial transport buses will be able to cross regions that are in confinement, but will not be able to make stops during the crossing.
Update on International Flights and Tourism
The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) announced that international flights from Cusco airport are being evaluated. Possible trips would be made from September and October.
“We are evaluating having a pilot from Cusco, with Bolivia, Colombia and Chile,” revealed Carlos Lozada, head of the MTC, to Punto Final.
For this resumption of operations, it is expected that only between 30% and 35% of trips that left before the pandemic will be made. The MTC projects that these changes will reduce the number of daily passengers from 16,000 to 4,500.
Passengers will be required to wear a mask and face shield, in addition to presenting a health declaration. The airlines will also have to follow a series of protocols:
- Disinfection on all aircraft surfaces
- Aircraft with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters in order to remove 99.9% of viruses and bacteria
- Distance measures at boarding and disembarkation to avoid crowding
- The temperature of all passengers and workers will be taken at the beginning and end of their day.
- Personnel must wear protective equipment during all phases of the flight.
Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Edgar Vasquez announced his sector will develop a tactical promotional campaign to boost inbound tourism and thus keep Peru on the international tourist map.
“When it comes to receptive tourism this year, we are basically going to carry out tactical campaigns in order to keep Peru on the international tourist map. We are not going to use a vast arsenal of resources this year, but the next one,” he told Canal N.
The high-ranking official explained that the reopening of international borders does not only depend on the coronavirus pandemic evolution at the local level, but also on the health situation in international destinations.
Vasquez affirmed that domestic commercial flights will resume on July 15 at the national level —except in Arequipa, Ica, Junin, Huanuco, San Martin, Madre de Dios, and Ancash regions, which have reported an increase in COVID-19 cases and remain under mandatory social isolation.
“We have to go slowly in the case of international flights,” he pointed out, saying that his sector will work together with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to reopen international borders as the country gains greater control of the pandemic.
Daily Update from Minsa
The Ministry of Health reported 3,797 new cases of COVID-19 and 184 COVID-related deaths.
There are 11,897 patients hospitalized with Covid-19, of which 1,314 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation. So far 221,008 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 165,611 positive cases and Lima provinces with 11,513 cases followed by the regions of Callao (19,167), Piura (18,889), Lambayeque (15,129), La Libertad (12,128), Loreto (9903), Ancash (9692), Ucayali (8862), Ica (9386), Arequipa (9252), San Martín (6690), Junín (5326), Tumbes (3451), Huanuco (3966), Amazonas (3406), Cajamarca (3650), Madre de Dios (2451), Ayacucho (2311), Cusco (2313), Pasco (1357), Moquegua (1387), Puno (1172), Tacna (1341), Huancavelica (1109) and Apurimac (661).
COVID in Cusco
The Regional Health Directorate (Diresa) in Cusco continues to provide pretty good reports every day now which helps to monitor the situation here.
As usual, the Sunday reporting was of less tests, but this is normal across the country on the weekend. Diresa reported 114 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths.
The number of tests reported was relatively low, so it’s difficult to ascertain much meaning of any significance, but the positive test rate was quite high at 11.2% — still well below the national average across Peru.
Misc New Highlights
- The Provincial Municipality of Huancayo announced that it will modify the ordinance that regulates the resumption of public transportation in the city of Huancayo, which will include the use of face shields as part of the protocol.
- The Regional Health Management of Arequipa and the Medical College of Huánuco warn of lack of oxygen and potential collapse of hospitals in their regions due to increase in cases of COVID-19.
- Tacna’s regional governor, Juan Tonconi, said told RPP Noticias that the plant for the production of medical oxygen will be inaugurated on Sunday. He also announced that, with the help of the private sector, another plant will be installed in the coming weeks.
- Darly del Carpio, Dean of the Medical College of Huánuco, told RPP Noticias that a total of 52 doctors are infected with COVID-19. Three doctors are in ICU and two are under observation. “Unfortunately we already have one deceased, a very beloved pediatrician in Tingo Maria,” she said.
- Percy Miranda, epidemiologist and representative of the Arequipa Regional Health Management, indicated in RPP that an average of 1,200 to 1,400 people are infected with the new coronavirus in the region every day.
- Only one educational institution requested to start its face-to-face classes in the region of Cusco — a school in the Cusco province of Paruro, said regional education director Ruth Baez.
- Iván Castillo, director of the Aeronautical Security Directorate, told RPP Noticias that between 30% and 35% of commercial flights will be reactivated as of July 15.
- Nine representatives of “Doctors Without Border” from Spain arrived in the San Martin region at the Tarapoto Hospital. Leslie Zevallos, advisor to the Ministry of Health, stressed that this humanitarian organization has extensive experience in the fight against the pandemic, since it has worked in the areas most affected by COVID-19 in Spain.
- Regional Governor Jean Paul Benavente said that today the contract will be signed with the plant in Cachimayo that will supply oxygen to Cusco and the region.
- Doctors in Huancavelica are protesting about the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), oxygen, medicines, supplies, mechanical ventilators and lack of human resources. “We are not willing to die,” said the dean of the Regional Council, Dr. Yanet Yachi.
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