Friday, March 27, 2020
Today is a new day with everyone knowing we are now looking at (at least) a 28-day quarantine/curfew period lasting until April 12. (You can read more about the announcement here: Quarantine and Curfew Extended 13 Days in Peru.)
I’ll be updating this continually during the day as new and relevant information becomes available. Please check back regularly and be sure to click the “refresh/reload” button on your browser so updates are shown.
I was going to do an end-of-day update each evening, but since there is likely information that will be released during the day that is important to be shared quickly, I’m going to update this post during the day. For that reason, again I emphasize that you need to click the “refresh/reload” button on your browser or updates will not likely show up.
Daily Presidential Address to the Nation
A lot of the President’s comments today regard the government’s economic plans including expanding payments to Peruvians need financial assistance.
If you heard about the huge order of tests received by Spain that turned out to be defective, the Health Ministry today reported that they are purchasing from a different provider.
The Head of the National Police said that La Libertad/Trujillo leads the nation in violations of the quarantine and curfew with 7446 arrests since March 18!
Coronavirus Cases Increases to 635
55 new cases were reported by the Health Ministry today out of 846 tests performed. The good news is that only 6.5% of the tests came back positive compared the 8.5% the day before.
About 20% fewer tests were performed, though no reason was given for this. Hopefully this indicates that fewer people complained of symptoms requiring testing.
So far confirmed cases have been reported in the Lima (494), followed by the regions of Loreto (23), Piura (20), Callao (17), Arequipa (15), Lambayeque (13), Junin (12), Cusco (10), La Libertad (9), Ancash (6), Tumbes (5), Huanuco (4), Ica (3), Madre de Dios (1), San Martin (1), Cajamarca (1), and Pasco (1).
Sadly, two more deaths were reported bringing the nationwide total to 11. One was a 56-year-old man in Trujillo. The other was a 65-year-old man in Lima with a history of brain cancer.
Afternoon Update from the US Embassy
2:30 pm – The U.S. Embassy is organizing buses for tomorrow, March 28, to bring U.S. citizens from Arequipa to Lima for their onward flight back to the United States.
Late last night, the Peruvian government approved repatriation flights through April 1, making it easier for the U.S. Embassy and airlines to place Americans on flights. The U.S. Embassy is identifying vulnerable U.S. citizens for priority flights, minimizing no-shows, and planning for operations outside Lima and Cusco.
Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra announced yesterday that quarantine measures, border closures, and a nightly curfew will continue until April 12. The U.S. Embassy recommends U.S. citizens in Peru adhere to all quarantine measures.
More than 1,200 Americans have made it home from Peru. Our team continues to work around the clock. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheres Affairs Julie Chung arrived today in Peru to support these efforts.
Morning Announcement from the US Embassy
10:00 am – “Yesterday, the U.S. Embassy coordinated with the Peruvian Navy to reach stranded U.S. citizens by boat in the Amazon region so they could return home. Today, two flights will leave Lima, and one will depart from Cusco.
‘If you were contacted by the U.S. Embassy last night, please proceed to the indicated rally point. If some of your family members were not included on the manifest, we will place them on a standby list at the rally point. We are making every effort to fly families together.
‘Some charter flights have had to take off without filling every available seat, a huge frustration for all of us. We know that moving from place to place has become complex, given the extraordinary public health measures now in place. If are manifested on a flight, we urge you to do everything you can to follow the instructions and to arrive on time.
‘Unfortunately, we are unable to add people on short notice due to transportation security requirements.
Our team continues to work around the clock to assist U.S. Citizens in Peru and to make more repatriation flights available.”
Peruvian Navy Brings 60 US Citizens Out of Iquitos
Yesterday the US Embassy in Lima reported that 35 US citizens were brought from outlying areas in the jungle to Iquitos so they could join 60 others in returning home.
Peru’s Executive Branch Granted Special Powers
9:25 am – This morning, Congress granted the Executive Branch special powers to legislate on issues related to health, fiscal and tax policy, and citizen security for 45 days.
Coming Changes in the Military’s Responsbilities
8:45 am – Defense Minister Walter Martos announced today that the military will begin charging those who resist and assault (including verbal assaults) soldiers carrying out their duties under the State of Emergency. He is also meeting with government attorneys today and requesting that they be allowed to detain those charged.
He also said that the military presence in northern regions will be increased and he will recommend stricter quarantine and curfew measures in the northern provinces (including Iquitos) where lax compliance is resulting in greater transmission of COVID-19.
An formal announcement is expected on these restrictions for the north of Peru later today.
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