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Sunday (October 18) – NAZCA – A massive drawing has been found in the Nazca region. With this recent discovery, the enigmatic markings etched into the Peruvian desert are attracting world attention once again.
According to the Ministry of Culture, the 37-meter-long figure depicts a feline and is situated in one of the slopes of the hill known as the Mirador Natural (a natural lookout point).
The surprising discovery was made when archaeologists and the technical staff of the Nazca-Palpa Management Plan —supported by the Ministry of Culture— conducted refurbishment works at the natural lookout in the Nazca Pampas.
The figure was barely visible and was about to disappear due to its location —on a fairly steep slope— and the effects of natural erosion. The cleaning and conservation of the geoglyph was carried out last week.
The drawing depicts the figure of a feline in profile, with the head turned towards the front. The lines are mostly well defined, and the image is formed by lines of variable width, which goes from 30 to 40 centimeters.
Experts claim that the figure’s stylistic features date from the Late Paracas period. That is, it predates the famous geoglyphs in the Nazca Pampas, dating back 100 to 200 years before our era.
It is worth noting that representations of felines of this kind are common in the iconography of ceramics and textiles created by the Paracas people.
The Ministry Culture noted that this discovery shows, once again, the rich and varied cultural legacy of this site that has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1994.
Sunday (October 18) – LIMA – The Cajamarca province of San Ignacio reopened the extreme adventure tourism service at 1,200 meters above sea level and so far has received a good number of visitors from various regions such as Lima, Ayacucho, La Libertad, Ancash, Lambayeque and Amazonas.
The reopening was done as part of phase 4 of the economic reactivation and with all the biosecurity protocols, said Bonely Neira Pesantes, owner of the business that has been serving national and foreign tourists for more than a year, mostly young people, who are looking for this type of extreme adventure service.
“After half a year of having closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic I thought that people would not come for fear of the virus, but we have received visitors from various cities in the country, attracted by the various games we offer: extreme swing of 15 meters high, Tibetan bridge of 100 meters long with a depth of 80 meters,” he told the Agencia Andina.
The tourists can enjoy varied options like the extreme swing, the flying bicycle, the canopy in the province of San Ignacio.
In addition, the flying bicycle, which travels at 100 meters in length with a depth of 80 meters, and the canopy, a rope extended from end to end (huaro type) of 500 meters in length with a depth of 100 meters. “The swing is the most extreme,” Neira said, specifying that the cost per set is 20 soles.
Before the emergency, the attraction received foreign tourists from Korea, Belgium, France and Spain, most of them because of the connection with coffee, since San Ignacio is the province with the best production.
“Many arrive to Jaen and San Ignacio because of the coffee theme and in passing they visit the attraction, and others arrive to the airport of Jaen in passing to the Gocta waterfall, in the Amazon region”, he commented.
Adventure Tourism San Ignacio Extremo is the business that Bonely Neira started more than a year ago and provides work to 13 locals who are trained every six months in first aid and rescue.
“Safety is fundamental in this business,” said the businessman, noting that people of all ages arrive and have taken their service tourists from 67 to 86 years.
The airport of Jaén favors much to the receptive tourism because it is to one hour of San Ignacio, but the majority is national tourists of near regions that arrive via terrestrial, maintained Neira, when announcing a new undertaking in tourism: aquatic motorcycle and stroll in boat by the Chinchipe river.
San Ignacio is part of the Ruta del Café, a circuit that is promoted by the Regional Directorate of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Dircetur) Cajamarca. The visitor can visit the attractions such as waterfalls, lagoons, coffee farms and adventure tourism; it is open from Monday to Sunday, from 9:00 to 19:00.
Sunday (October 18) – LIMA – Yesterday President Martín Vizcarra officially launched the campaign “Volver” (Return) to reactivate domestic tourism. He said that the resumption of this economic sector will be done in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.
“Today’s message is that we have to reactivate this very important sector, but in a sustainable way so that we don’t have to stop and retreat later,” he said from the Paseo de Aguas in downtown Lima.
He affirmed that the government continues to work to generate a collective conscience of responsibility so that the covid-19 contagion curve continues to decrease as it has been doing in the last nine weeks.
“We see that countries that had gone through this situation of apparently having controlled the pandemic are now going through very difficult times. These countries are also living from tourism and perhaps they have become overconfident and opened up uncontrollably, forcing them to retreat,” he said.
Vizcarra that the return to domestic tourism in Peru will be with greater awareness and greater responsibility. “With the biosecurity that allows us to take each step with certainty and to go back”, he underlined.
Sunday (October 18) – LIMA – Yesterday Peru’s Ministry of Health reported 3,132 more COVID-19 cases and 54 deaths for Friday. With testing remaining high, the positivity rate climbed a bit to 12.8%.
There are currently 5,940 patients hospitalized by COVID-19, of which 1,133 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation.
So far 774,356 people completed their period of home isolation or were discharged from a health facility.
Sunday (October 18) – LIMA – In order to maximize the use of the 3.5 GHz frequency band, to promote the deployment of new technologies and better public telecommunications services, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) published Ministerial Resolution No. 0709-2020-MTC/01.03, which approves the modification of the National Frequency Allocation Plan.
With this initiative, telecommunication operators, with the assignment of radioelectric spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, are authorized to make technical modifications to the network and the use of the frequency band to provide some services different from those originally assigned.
“The companies have been assigned the 3.5GHz band for fixed wireless telephony and fixed internet. However, now there is a possibility to give a better use to this band, which will benefit more Peruvians with modern services and will encourage private investment in the sector”, highlighted the General Director of Policies and Regulation in Communications, José Aguilar.
The 3.5GHz band is one of the bands identified for the provision of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) services and, therefore, crucial to progressively plan the deployment and massification of 5G technology.
The new standard is part of the regulatory measures promoted by the MTC to improve the management and administration of the radioelectric spectrum, prioritizing equal access, efficient use of the spectrum and competition in the sector, in order to generate public value through better provision of telecommunications services.
This proposal was published in August and received comments from the country’s mobile operators, foreign companies, the Supervisory Agency for Private Investment in Telecommunications, and society in general.
The radio-electric spectrum is a natural resource made up of all the electromagnetic waves and is part of the Nation’s heritage. The State is sovereign in its use and the MTC is responsible for its management, administration and control.
Saturday (October 17) – MACHU PICCHU – RPP Noticias is reporting that on November 1 Machu Picchu will reopen its doors for tourism and during the first 15 days, entrance will be free for all Peruvian citizens.
This decision was taken during a meeting of the Management Unit of Machu Picchu, which integrates national, regional, local authorities and institutions linked to the cultural and tourist field, informed the district mayor, Darwin Baca León.
“Unanimously, we took the decision that from November 1 the reopening of Machu Picchu will take place and for all Peru, until November 15, the entrance is free. For this, you must register on the page of the Decentralized Direction of Culture,” he said.
Baca said that 675 visitors are expected to enter the area each day. The entrance will be done in groups of 7 people plus the tour guide. The tour will be carried out for a period of one hour for each group.
“The capacity of the entrance to Machu Picchu is not the normal one because in these dates normally 2 thousand to 2 thousand 500 people enter,” mentioned the district mayor, who added that the entrance of children and older adults will be allowed.
Baca León said that the rail and bus transportation system will operate with half of the allowed capacity, in addition to the biosecurity measures, to avoid infections of COVID-19 during the journey.
Regarding the hotels and restaurants, the mayor of Machu Picchu pointed out that more than 50 percent are conditioned under the security protocols to attend to visitors after 7 months of the suspension of tourist and economic activities.
The request for an ambulance for Machu Picchu, was also approved during the meeting in which it was noted that a vehicle will be delivered by private institutions. This way, medical attention will be guaranteed to visitors.
“We have gone to see the ambulance and this week it will enter Machu Picchu to attend to any eventuality that may occur in relation to the new coronavirus,” said Baca Leon.
Saturday (October 17) – LIMA – Yesterday Peru’s Ministry of Health reported 2,677 more cases of COVID-19 and 71 deaths for Thursday.
Perhaps the best indicator of what’s happening across the country is the positivity rate which dropped to 11.3% — the lowest since April 29! (And that’s with a slight increase in testing, too.)
There are 6,172 patients hospitalized by COVID-19, of which 1,149 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation.
So far 769,077 people completed their period of home isolation or were discharged from a health facility.
This morning (Friday) someone brought up different data reporting on another website. Since providing information as accurate as possible, I spent a good bit of time checking my data and responded here. I think it’s important to share my response here in case anyone doubts that I’m working very, very hard to provide information and data as correct as possible. While I certainly make mistakes, it’s never intentional and not for lack of trying.
I went back and checked every day’s data for the past 15 days and my numbers are correct as based on official data published by Peru’s Ministry of Health. I even used a calculator to double check that my Excel spreadsheet is doing the the correctly. It is.
I don’t know where Worldometers gets their data. I couldn’t find any specific sources for data in Peru, though I didn’t search all that hard.
I can tell you that I get my data from official daily press releases from Minsa and have been for nearly seven months at the link below. I’ll be glad to share the extensive spreadsheet I’ve created which tracks both this data and quite a bit more so anyone can proofread my work.
(Click here to read Minsa’s daily Press Releases)
(Frankly, I was surprised I didn’t find any typos considering my typing skills, but I’m pretty careful and now double- or triple-check the data entries each day after someone publicly accused me of trying to scare people when I had actually made an unnoticed data entry error one day.)
I take the work I do to share accurate and correct data extremely seriously. If I have made a mistake, I truly want to know it, but you can be certain I don’t just Google stuff each day and post it without knowing where data comes from or without trying to make sure it’s as accurate as possible.
Friday (October 15) – AREQUIPA – RPP Noticias reported that, as of yesterday, tourists can tour the Colca Valley, in Arequipa, after tourism was suspended for seven months, due to the state of emergency by the COVID-19, reported the regional manager of Tourism, Carlos Andrade.
“In this first stage only local tourists will be allowed to enter. As of November and December, national visitors will be received and only in 2021 will foreigners be allowed to visit the country,” he said.
Andrade explained that the reactivation of tourism in Arequipa must comply with all measures, so that people feel safe from getting infected with COVID-19 when they arrive at the Colca Valley.
That is why most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and recreation centers in the province of Caylloma implement all health protocols to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
During the ceremony of the resumption of tourism in the Colca Valley, the first tourists who arrived in the province of Caylloma were received, Rudy Estremadoyro Mejia and his son Bastian Estremadoyro, who will stay for two days in the canyon.
Estremadoyro, who is a sports physiotherapist, said that since the beginning of the pandemic he was eager to visit the Colca Canyon, along with his 10-year-old son, but they chose to comply with the quarantine at home, which generated a stress situation by not leaving their home for six months.
During the state of emergency the Colca Canyon registered more than 14 million soles, as more than 200 thousand tourists did not arrive.
With the reactivation of tourism more than 2,000 families will benefit directly and 10,000 indirectly.
The provincial mayor of Caylloma, Alvaro Caceres Llica, announced that tourists will be able to enter the entire Tourist Circuit of the Colca Valley, Valley of the Volcanoes and the National Reserve of Salinas and Aguada Blanca, without paying the Tourist Ticket.
This benefit will be for a period of two months, that is, until December 15 of this year, as part of the “Economic Reactivation Plan in the Colca Valley”.
Friday (October 15) – LIMA – RPP Noticias reports that the executive president of the Social Security Health -EsSalud, Fiorella Molinelli, announced that, according to the last report of the Heat Map of this institution, there are 12 regions of our country where the cases have increased. In view of this, three possible scenarios are analyzed, the worst of which would bring with it more than 2 million infections, 17 thousand patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit and more than 360 thousand hospitalized. The projection is estimated to arrive in December.
“In that sense, we have been analyzing three types of scenarios, optimistic, intermediate and pessimistic, but as Social Security we must be prepared for the worst scenario, because our goal is to save lives and, within that scenario, a wave of infections is foreseen towards the end of November and December that could reach up to 2 million more infections, with 17 thousand more patients in the ICU and 360 thousand hospitalized patients,” he said.
For this reason, Molinelli highlighted efforts such as the donation of one thousand oxygen balloons made by the National Confederation of Private Business Institutions (CONFIEP) and the donation of the NGO Business Solutions against Poverty, through its Shoulder to Shoulder program, by the 22 oxygen regulators “‘ayrachi’.
“For this reason, this donation helps us to complete our offer, as EsSalud does not let down our guard. These balls help us to reach the last corner of the country, to those health posts, polyclinics, and health establishments that continue to treat patients and that will need them in an eventual outbreak like the one that is beginning to show, we are grateful for this important donation,” he said.
Friday (October 15) – CUSCO – The archaeological park of Sacsayhuaman received 438 tourists yesterday.
Francisco Solis, head of the archaeological park, highlighted the interest of the community to know or revisit their cultural heritage. “They have come with all the desire to be able to visit”, he said to the Andean Agency.
The accesses of Llaullipata and Puqro were the ones used to enter Machu Picchu.
According to Solis, the number of tourists could increase between tomorrow and Saturday, days in which the trend will be evaluated in the following weeks. However, the capacity will be 50%, that is to say, 480 tourists per day, and to be one of them you must obtain a reservation on the web page of the Decentralized Direction of Culture (DDC) Cusco. (That page was not working yesterday and no reservation was required for Cusco residents to access the site.)
Friday (October 15) – LIMA – The Peruvian economy continued to recover in August for the fourth consecutive month after the partial resumption of various activities in phase 3 of the reactivation, according to the National Institute of Informatics Statistics (INEI).
Thus, the GDP performance in August registered the smallest fall in the last five months (-9.82%) with respect to a similar month last year.
The INEI explained that this lower negative rate verified in August is associated with the implementation of phase 3 of the economic reactivation.
It also said that in the period January-August this year, domestic production fell by 15.66% and in the annualized period (September 2019-August 2020) did so by -9.63%.
Although the gross domestic product (GDP) in August fell 9.82%, it is a smaller drop than the one registered in July (-11.7%), June (-18.06%) and May (32.75%), which reflects that national production continues in a recovery process every month, according to the entity’s figures.
It should be noted that the economy fell 16.3% in March and 40.49% in April (the worst performance of the year). But the fourth month of the year marked a turning point because after April the negative rates of the GDP are constantly decreasing.
August’s result was determined by the lower production in most sectors, among the main ones are Lodging and Restaurants, Manufacturing, Mining and Hydrocarbons; Transportation, Storage and Messenger Services; Trade and Business Services, which explain around 82% of the overall result.
The production of the Financial and Insurance sector grew as well as Telecommunications and Public Administration and Defense.
The Agricultural sector fell by 6.58% due to the unfavorable result of the agricultural sub-sector (-8.07%) as it reported lower volumes obtained from olives (-97.6%), artichokes (-58.6%), starchy corn (-46.0%), grapes (-43.2%), potatoes (-38.8%), sugarcane (-18.7%) and hard yellow corn (-13.5%).
This is due to the smaller sown area and to the day and night thermal conditions above its climatic variability.
Similar tendency was reported by the cattle sub-sector, when it decreased by 4.80% due to lower production volumes of poultry (-7.9%), cattle (-5.0%), sheep (-2.1%) and alpaca (-0.5%).
Meanwhile, the INEI reported that the Fishing sector decreased 6.46% as a result of the lower capture of species of marine origin (-8.13%) destined for canning (-26.4%), fresh (-13.6%) and frozen (-0.3%); while it increased for curing (6.9%).
Likewise, fishing for indirect human consumption (fishmeal and oil) decreased as a result of the lower anchovy catch (-92.5%), due to the end of the first fishing season of the resource as of August 15th, 2020. In contrast, fishing of continental origin grew by 3.27%.
Mining and Hydrocarbons
In August, the Mining and Hydrocarbons sector declined by 11.18% due to the lower activity in the metallic mining sub-sector (-10.22%), in light of the lower gold (-37.6%), silver (-22.8%), lead (-17.2%) and copper (-10.1%) production volumes.
However, iron (12.2%), zinc (9.5%), tin (7.7%) and molybdenum (4.4%) production increased.
Likewise, the hydrocarbons sub-sector declined by 16.43%, due to the lower level of oil exploitation (-44.6%) and natural gas (-13.8%), while natural gas liquids production increased (2.7%).
The manufacturing sector’s production fell by 12.09% due to the effect of the lower activity in the non-primary sub-sector (-11.92%) and the primary sub-sector (-12.65%).
The non-primary sub-sector’s result was due to the lower production of the consumer goods industry (-6.93%); intermediate goods (-12.37%) and capital goods (-28.24%).
In August this year, the production of the Construction sector decreased 6.50%, mainly explained by the resumption of private works, evidenced by the higher domestic cement consumption (1.31%); on the other hand, the investment in public works construction was reduced (-38.16%).
A recovery is observed as compared to previous months, due to the greater activity in private and public construction projects, arranged in the third phase of economic reactivation, D.S. N° 117-2020-PCM in the month of July, in the framework of the National Sanitary Emergency due to the presence of the Covid-19 in the country.
The decrease in the physical progress of works was registered in the three areas of government; in the National Government (-65.4%), Local (-34.6%) and Regional (-5.3%).
According to the type of works, there was a decrease in road infrastructure (bridges and highways), non-residential buildings and basic services (water and sewage); however, there was an increase in risk prevention works.
The Trade sector declined by 8.12% due to the contraction of wholesale sales (-8.57%), retail sales (-5.73%), and vehicle sales and repair (-10.98%).
The month’s result showed a lower negative rate due to the beginning in July of the third phase of economic reactivation (D.S. N°117-2020-PCM) in which all commercial establishments were reopened with a 50% capacity and subject to compliance with the protocol established by the Minsa.
Accommodation and Restaurants
The Accommodation and Restaurants sector decreased by 60.95% due to the lower activity of the accommodation sub-sector (-99.84%) and the restaurants sub-sector (-54.88%).
The restaurants sub-sector registered a lower negative rate compared to the previous month, which shows a relative recovery in response to the implementation of the third phase of economic recovery.
The INEI reported that the Telecommunications and Other Information Services sector increased by 5.13% due to the positive result of the Telecommunications sub-sector (11.05%); while the production of the Other Information Services sub-sector decreased (-30.03%).
The Telecommunications sub-sector increased due to the telephone service (13.9%) and internet and subscription television service (7.1%).
The other information services sub-sector showed a negative behavior due to the lower production and exhibition of programs and movies (-65.8%), editing services (-49.1%), and TV and radio programming (-32.8%); while computer programming activity showed a slight recovery (0.04%).
Financial and Insurance
The Financial and Insurance sector grew by 19.74% determined by the greater credits granted to corporations, large, medium and small companies (24.09%).
These were mainly directed to the following economic sectors: construction; commerce; transportation, storage and communications; education; real estate, business and rental activities; agriculture, livestock, hunting, and forestry and manufacturing.
To a lesser extent, mortgage loans increased (2.41%).
Consumer loans decreased by 3.90%, and deposits grew by 20.59%, due to the increase in demand deposits and savings deposits. However, time deposits and time compensation deposits decreased.
Friday (October 15) – LIMA – Yesterday Peru’s Ministry of Culture reported 2,789 more cases of COVID-19 and 65 COVID-related deaths on Tuesday.
The positivity rate remained low for the 6th day in a row at 12.1%. Frankly, I find this a little inexplicable, but it is surprisingly excellent data compared to where this number has been for months and have no reason to doubt it’s accuracy.
The number of deaths reported was a bit below the October monthly average, though this daily number — not surprisingly — has fluctuated considerably each day.
There are currently 6,222 patients hospitalized by COVID-19, of which 1,139 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation — slight decreases for both.
So far 764,750 people completed their period of home isolation or were discharged from a health facility.
The number of known active COVID-19 cases in Peru continues to drop rapidly to 94,990.
Thursday (October 15) -LIMA – The Ministry of Culture granted free admission to the museums and pre-Hispanic archeological monuments administered by this portfolio, from this Thursday, October 15, until November 15, 2020, according to a regulation published in the official newspaper El Peruano.
Ministerial Resolution No. 000262-2020-DM/MC states, in its recitals, that this measure seeks to promote participation and enjoyment of cultural spaces, ie, the promotion of domestic tourism, which offers security, information, education and recreation for the benefit of citizens.
Likewise, it is clarified that these visits will be carried out with a low influx of public to reduce the risk of contagion of COVID-19, within the framework of the provisions contained in Supreme Decree N° 156-2020-PCM, such as the new extension of the State of National Emergency until October 31st of this year.
In Lima, the first spaces to reopen will be the Puruchuco Archaeological Complex, the Pachacamac Archaeological Sanctuary and the National Museum of Peruvian Culture.
Peruvian Army museums will also be opened in Lima, such as the Museo Fortaleza Real Felipe, the Museo de los Combatientes del Morro de Arica (Casa Bolognesi), the Museo Operación Chavín de Huántar and the Museo Mariscal Andrés Avelino Cáceres – Redoubt 2.
In the north of the country, the Museum of Túcume (Lambayeque), the Archaeological Complex Huaca Rajada (Chiclayo) and the Archaeological Complex Ventarrón (Chiclayo) will be opened.
The norm, endorsed by the Minister of Culture, Alejandro Neyra, indicates that the General Directorate of Museums, in coordination with the General Directorate of Immovable Archaeological Heritage and the Deconcentrated Directorates of Culture, provide the corresponding actions for compliance with the provisions of this resolution.
To visit a museum, either alone, with family or friends, it will be necessary to access the website or social networks of the Ministry of Culture to know its capacity, opening hours, as well as the means to make a reservation.
Attendance to closed places with a large number of people is a health risk that must be avoided; therefore, it has been arranged that the number of people visiting the museum be reduced by half, which will allow maintaining the distance between visitors of at least one meter.
The Minister of Culture, Alejandro Neyra, expressed this Thursday to be very happy with the news of the gradual and free reopening of museums and archaeological sites.
“We are opening three places in Lima, they are 18 at national level, they are Pachacámac, Puruchuco and Mateo Salado, but in Cusco they are for example Ollantaytambo , Pisac, Chinchero, Moray, and we have a list of other places that will open gradually during the month,” he said to TV Peru about the archaeological sites.
During his visit to the Pachacamac Archaeological Sanctuary, Minister Neyra said that people can go to the websites and social networks of the museums and archaeological sites to find out all the information related to the entrance.
“For us the most important thing is to influence free admission and above all to assure citizens that they have safe public spaces, which they can attend to restart economic and cultural activities, recover their spirits and feel part of this national identity,” he said.
Thursday (October 15) – LA LIBERTAD – The most important archaeological complexes in the province of Trujillo, in La Libertad, are preparing to reopen their doors to the public as of October 30th, after seven months of closure due to the pandemic by COVID-19, as reported by authorities of the Ministry of Culture.
The mud citadel Chan Chan will be the first to receive visitors on October 30th, located north of the city, in the district of Huanchaco. Admission will be free until November 15, by appointment.
On November 2, the archaeological site Huacas del Sol y La Luna, located in the district of Moche, will be reopened to tourism. The announcement was made by the director of the archaeological project Ricardo Morales.
Morales indicated that visitors will be able to enter the complex using the biosecurity measures required by the State to avoid the infection of the new coronavirus.
He also pointed out that for the resumption of activities, access to two new rooms in the complex has been prepared, as well as the implementation of a new tourist circuit.
Thursday (October 15) – LAMBAYEQUE – EsSalud reported its first suspected case of reinfection of COVID-19 in the Lambayeque region. The head of the Health Intelligence Office, Cristian Díaz Vélez, informed that she is a 32 year old doctor who was diagnosed with the new coronavirus in May and three months later has tested positive again.
The woman, who does not suffer from any chronic disease, is stable and her infection would have occurred while attending COVID-19 patients in the hospital. According to Diaz, in both cases the patient presented slight symptoms, so the positivity was confirmed through clinical diagnosis, tomography and by molecular test.
“We are talking about a high suspicion of reinfection, at least it could be the first case in the country that we are aware of. Having this case studied allows us to identify the characteristics of the patients who would end up having reinfections. If this were not the case, it would allow us to know the characteristics of patients with resistant positivity,” Díaz said.
The specialist indicated that the sample was sent to the National Institute of Health, where it will undergo a sequencing test, which could confirm whether it is a case of reinfection or a case of persistent positivity.
Currently, there are 25 confirmed cases of re-infection in the world. Last Tuesday, the first death of a re-infected patient was reported in the Netherlands. In Peru, no case has yet been officially reported.
In Lambayeque, according to the last report of the Regional Health Management, 27 204 infections and 2 509 deaths have been registered due to the new coronavirus.
Thursday (October 15) – LIMA – The Minister of Health, Pilar Mazzetti, ruled out that the serological tests, colloquially called “rapid”, will no longer be used in the country, as she assured that both these tests and the molecular ones will continue to be applied “according to need”.
“The molecular tests are used when we want to find the virus, in the first week, and the serological tests when the virus is no longer found and we are going to find the defenses,” she commented in a press conference.
“Each one of them is useful for something special. If we see a person who has ten days of illness, the molecular type test is not going to be useful, I have to do the serological test. It all depends on what we use them for,” she added.
The minister explained that when possible faults are detected in the test batches, they are retained, to be later returned to the providers. That has happened, she explained, with about 50 thousand tests retained in regions.
“The regions retained about 50 thousand tests that had already been distributed. This is returned to the provider and simply no payment is made, because they are not satisfied or the provider changes those tests for others,” he said.
Thursday (October 15) – LIMA – Yesterday Peru’s Ministry of Health reported 2,977 more cases of COVID-19 and 93 deaths on Monday.
The big news is that the number of known active cases of COVID-19 in Peru dropped below 100,000 for the first time in many months. In reaching 97,354 cases on Monday, this represents a major milestone in the decreasing trend that has continued for seven weeks as the number of known infections has dropped by just over half!
The positivity rate of testing for Monday — with testing numbers going back up to normal numbers for the start of the week — stayed relatively low at 12.8%.
The drop in hospitalizations continues as well. There are 6,237 patients hospitalized by COVID-19, of which 1,163 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation.
So far 759,597 people completed their period of home isolation or were discharged from a health facility.
Thursday (October 15) – MACHU PICCHU – Seven months after tourism was suspended, Machupicchu Pueblo is ready for the reactivation of visits.
The municipal authority supports and monitors the development of plans for the surveillance, prevention and control of COVID-19 in all economic activities in Peru’s main tourist district. Thus, out of a total of 130 establishments, 73 have duly approved biosecurity plans. Similarly, of 104 restaurants, 69 establishments have plans for the surveillance, prevention and control of coronavirus certified by the Health sector. Specifically, in Machupicchu Pueblo, a total of 234 businesses (lodging and restaurants) operate to date and are ready to receive tourists.
“It has been possible to fulfill the programmed activities in the established time. There are still pending tasks to be done in order to achieve the purpose of taking care of the health of the inhabitants, workers and our visitors. In this way we will be considered a safe destination by the World Tourism Council (WTTC),” says a report from the District Municipality of Machupicchu.
Meanwhile, authorities and officials conducted an inspection of the Sacsayhuaman Inca Fortress yesterday morning to verify that it is in optimal condition to begin receiving local tourists as of today.
“Sacsayhuaman is in condition for the resumption of tourism. There are established protocols that guarantee the safety of workers and visitors,” said Nestor Larico, sub-prefect of the district of Cusco.
As of today, seven archeological sites are reopening their doors. In addition to Sacsayhuaman, the people of Cusco will be able to visit Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Moray, Chinchero, Pikillaqta and Tipon.
The entrance of visitors to these spaces will be free, for which, previously, they will have to reserve a quota, indicating day and hour, in the page Web of the Deconcentrated Direction of Culture of Cusco: www.culturacusco.gob.pe. “It is recommended that all visitors comply with the health protocols and circuits established by the restrictions of the pandemic,” said Fredy Escobar, head of Culture.
Thursday (October 15) – CUSCO – As of this morning the Archaeological Parks of Sacsayhuamán, Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Tipón, Moray and Pikillaqta will reopen to tourism.
The first phase is completely local followed by subsequent phases for national and then foreign tourists.
The Ministry of Culture is opening these sites free of charge, provided that visitors comply with biosecurity protocols of order such as wearing masks, face shields and respecting the minimum distance during the tour of the tourist sites.
The head of the Cusco Culture Department, Freddy Zamalloa, pointed out that, although entrance is free for all Cusco residents, a virtual ticket must be obtained before visiting each tourist complex, in order to avoid queues and crowds near the access gates.
To obtain these free passes you must go to this portal to make a reservation indicating the day and time of the visit:
Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Cusco
“Sacsayhuamán and the other archaeological parks of Cusco are already ready to receive visitors. This is a first phase that will later decant into the visit of national and then international tourists. Little by little Cusco will shine again and the economic reactivation that we so much desire will come. We only ask those who are going to visit these attractions to do so in the safest way possible, always respecting the protocols and keeping the respective distance”, the sub-prefect of the district of Cusco, Néstor Larico, said to Diario Correo.
According to the approved protocols, visit to all sites will be from Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. And only at 50% of their capacity. For Sacsayhuamán, 1000 people per day will be able to enter. Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Tipón and Pikillaqta will allow a maximum of 480 daily visitors with Chinchero and Moray allowing 360 people each day.
[NOTE: As of 6:30 this morning (Thursday, October 15) the site for registering and making reservations was not linking up with the correct government agency. Apparently once I entered my Carnet de Extranjeria number, it would look up and fill in my name, but this was not available.]
Wednesday (October 14) – LIMA – Last night Peru’s Ministry of Health reported 2,803 more case of COVID-19 and 62 more deaths for Mondays report.
The amount of testing was all that high and the positivity rate rose to 14.4%.
There are 6,274 patients hospitalized by COVID-19, of which 1,173 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation
So far 753,959 people completed their period of home isolation or were discharged from a health facility.
The number of known active COVID-19 infections has dropped to 100,015.
Wednesday (October 14) – MACHU PICCHU – The president of the Council of Ministers, Walter Martos, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Rocio Barrios, the regional governor of Cusco, Jean Paul Benavente, the district mayor of Machu Picchu, Darwin Baca and the president of Promperu, Luis Torres, received the ‘Safe Travel’ seal from the president of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Gloria Guevara, who participated in the ceremony remotely from London.
This international recognition places Peru within the radar of countries recognized worldwide for good practices and the establishment of biosecurity and hygiene protocols, which guarantee a trip, stay and tour of the country, safely and without fear of catching the coronavirus.
These protocols to be used, were created from the direction and advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), which presented the guidelines to be followed by tourist destinations, in order to regain the confidence of travelers and that they are visited again and thus revive the local, regional and national economy of countries that meet the established safety standards.
Before Peru, the only countries in South America that obtained this recognition were Brazil and Ecuador. The WHO estimates that in the coming months, all tourist destinations worldwide should obtain the seal and the region will become a bubble free of bad practices and safe to visit from any point on the planet.
Peru currently has eight biosecurity protocols in the tourism sector developed by the Tourism Training Center (Cenfotur), following the recommendations of the WTTC and the protocols of the WHO.
Wednesday (October 14) – CUSCO – Tomorrow seven archaeological sites in the region of Cusco will open their doors to tourism. Thus, the economic reactivation of this economic sector will begin, although only with the visit of inhabitants of the region.
The list is made up of Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Sacsayhuaman, Tipon, Pikillaqta, Moray and Chinchero. All these spaces already have their biosecurity protocols.
Before this decision was taken, the Minister of Culture, Alejandro Neyra, visited last week most of these tourist sites to corroborate that they have the sanitary protocols to avoid contagion with COVID-19.
Each archaeological site will only be able to function with 50% of its capacity. For example, if the Inca complex of Ollantaytambo received an average of 2000 visitors per day, now only 1000 will be admitted. Although it is difficult to reach that number of daily visitors, due to the pandemic.
The date to reopen Machupicchu will only be known this October 17. It is most likely that the tourist activity will return the end of the month or beginning of November. The head of the Machupicchu Archaeological Park, José Bastante, said that in this case the capacity of the park will only be 30%.
The route of the Inca Trail will also have that same capacity. The weekend, this route was inspected by authorities from Dircetur and other entities and it was found that the walk to Machupicchu meets all the requirements for the safety of visitors.
Wednesday (October 14) – LIMA – Central Reserve Bank (BCR) Governor Julio Velarde on Tuesday affirmed that Peru’s economic recovery is faster than expected, following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Velarde admitted that, he was more worried about the financial system and bankruptcy of several companies three months ago.
“Now, my concern has decreased considerably,” the economist pointed out. “The banking system as a whole has always been very sound, although I expected a more severe deterioration in the portfolio from what we are seeing now; this, added to the signs in the payment of obligations in recent months. It (recovery) is faster than expected,” he commented.
“I truly believe that these have been positive surprises,” he said in his speech at the First Congress of Mining Competitiveness and Social Sustainability, held by the Institute of Mining Engineers of Peru (IIMP).
According to Velarde, this better response to the payment of obligations in the financial system is explained by the contribution of informal economic activities that continued operating despite the lockdown.
“Probably, the fall in the second quarter and in the number of employed people has been less severe due to informality, simply because many economic activities continued operating,” he affirmed.
The Central Bank Governor affirmed that the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) usually estimates that the formal sector in Peru grows at the same rate as the informal one.
“I think the downturn has been somewhat less severe (than expected), and the recovery may be a little faster, but I am not going to emphasize it as I have no official figures yet,” he added.
Wednesday (October 14) – LIMA – In Peru, more than 60% of Peruvians over the age of 15 suffer from overweight or obesity, and could suffer from chronic diseases or severe forms of COVID-19, reported the National Health Institute (INS) of the Ministry of Health (Minsa).
According to the Peru Survey: Non-Communicable and Communicable Diseases 2019, the prevalence of overweight in this group is 37.8% and of obesity is 22.3%.
The study also shows the excess weight in Metropolitan Lima which is 64.7%. Likewise, the departments that present the highest percentage of overweight are Moquegua (40.9%), Tumbes (40.1%), Arequipa (39.7%), La Libertad and Madre de Dios (both with 39.5%) and, with obesity stand out Tacna (36.5%), Ica (31.9%), Moquegua (31.7%), Madre de Dios (29.3%), Lima Region (28.8%), Constitutional Province of Callao (26.8%).
“Two factors are related to the increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity: the inadequate diet, rich in high caloric foods, processed foods and sweetened drinks, and on the other hand the reduction of physical activity,” said the nutritionist of the INS, Henry Trujillo.
Trujillo stated that, although these diseases have reached epidemic proportions, they could be significantly reduced by combating risk factors and applying early detection and timely treatment, thus saving millions of lives and avoiding untold suffering.
“People with obesity are more likely to suffer from health problems such as diabetes, hypertension; high blood cholesterol and triglycerides, cardiovascular problems, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, poor care and work problems, gallstones and liver problems. Overweight and obesity also increase the risk of dying from cancer,” he warned.
Trujillo explained that, in this time of pandemic, obesity increases the risk of death and complications in COVID-19 patients, since it alters the immune system, decreases lung function through greater resistance in the airways and difficulty in expanding the lungs.
“Therefore, it is recommended that the population value natural products, reduce consumption of processed foods, and increase physical activity at all stages of life,” he said.
Tuesday (October 13) – LIMA – Yesterday Peru’s Ministry of Health reported 1800 more cases of COVID-19. This number is extremely low because it the report for Sunday when testing numbers are also always low. It’s important to consider that the amount of testing actually went up almost 70& from the previous Sunday and the positivity rate dropped a bit to 11.8%!
Minsa also reported only 52 deaths which is the lowest in months.
Hospitalizations continue their precipitous drop as there are currently 6,272 patients hospitalized by COVID-19, of which 1,182 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation.
So far 748,097 people completed their period of home isolation or were discharged from a health facility.
There are currently 103,474 known active cases of COVID-19 in Peru.
Monday (October 13) – CUSCO – Diario Correo reports that the tireless work of health professionals will be rewarded after the decision of the Regional Directorate of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Cusco. The doctors will be the first to visit the archaeological sites of the region as part of the reactivation of the sector as part of the appreciation for their work against the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Director Fredy Deza said that in this way it will be possible to have greater reach over the protocols to be implemented when the resumption of tourism in the area is authorized. In other words, doctors will be part of the experimentation of the restrictions that will be demanded by the authorities for the resumption of activities in the sector.
“The doctors, nurses, policemen, public clean-up and security brothers from Cusco will organize the first controlled groups to see a social outreach with them, a reunion with their cultural richness and to test the biosecurity protocols and surveillance plans we have,” he commented to Exitosa.
Cusco will be the first region to provide this benefit for frontline personnel who are still fighting the new coronavirus. In this way, it is expected that tourism will resume in the area with the largest influx of people since November.
“Something very important is that we are working with the Diresa (Regional Health Directorate). We have made some field trips, with the same doctors of the Diresa to help us in this process and the reactivation will be given with responsibility, ensuring that we have the best measures of biosecurity,” he said.
Tuesday (October 13) – LIMA – The volume of non-traditional exports showed a slight recovery of 0.3% in August this year, compared to the same month in 2019, driven by agriculture (13.9%) and fishing (7.5%) sectors, the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) reported on Monday.
According to INEI’s Technical Report on Evolution of Exports and Imports, among the products most demanded were blueberries (52.5%); avocados (49%); tangerines (66.2%); fresh or chilled asparagus (7.3%); as well as frozen cuttlefish, squid, and giant squid (33.7%); squid and cuttlefish (51.1%); and shrimp tails with shell (27.5%).
On the other hand, decreases were registered in textile (-16.3%), chemical (-10.2%), metal-mechanical (-20.9%), and non-metallic mining (-19.8%) sectors.
In this case, there were declines in shipments of cotton polo shirts (-16.6%); knitted polo shirts and T-shirts made of other textile materials (-15.9%); cotton sweaters (-11.1%); as well as zinc oxide (-7.4%); plates, sheets, and strips of ethylene polymers (-10.7%); and sulfuric acid (-58.5%), among others.
On the other hand, INEI stated that the volume of traditional exports fell 43.4%, compared to the same month last year.
The sectors with the largest declines were mining (-49.4%), agriculture (-12.7%), as well as oil and natural gas (-65.9%).
On the contrary, shipments in the fishing sector witnessed an increase of 247.6%.
Tuesday (October 13) – LIMA – Peru’s net international reserves amounted to US$72.354 billion as of September 30, the Central Reserve Bank (BCR) has reported.
This level of reserves is equivalent to 34% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
International reserves guarantee the foreign currency availability in unusual situations that might occur due to external shocks resulting in eventual and possible withdrawals of foreign currency deposits and a subsequent capital flight from the financial system.
Also, adequate availability of foreign exchange reserves helps reduce the country-risk with the subsequent improvement of the country credit ratings and better conditions to expand foreign investment in the country.
International reserves are particularly important in a context of globalization of international markets, reduction of barriers to capital flows and volatility of financial, foreign exchange and metal markets.
Monday (October 13) – CUSCO – Victor Boluarte Medina will be again the provincial mayor of Cusco, after the Supreme Court of Justice absolved him of the crime of fraud in the administration of legal entities that took him out of office in December 2019.
“The directors of the Bar Association of Cusco, like all professional associations, cannot be subject to assets of the crime of fraudulent administration as long as they do not administer or represent a legal person of private law, constituted with the purpose of joining the economic traffic”, says part of the resolution.
The sentence was announced yesterday morning. Boluarte said he was satisfied after 10 years of process, he mentioned that the National Jury of Elections should return his authority credential in 2 or 3 weeks.
“I take it with great satisfaction, with responsibility, with the restraint that such an issue deserves, but also with the certainty and security that this should have always happened because the right should not be manipulated at the political whim of some people,” he said in statements to RPP.
The suspended mayor of Cusco, defended his innocence from the beginning of the process, after the lawsuit filed by the Commission of Jurists of Cusco, which accused him of appropriating money from the Bar Association, when Boluarte was dean.
“It is not only this crime, we have been denounced for about 8 crimes, which have been filed along the way and this was almost a consolation prize for the persistence of the denouncers who wanted more to have their political confrontations than to justify a denunciation of this type,” he added.
Tika Luizar, a representative of the Commission of Jurists, rejected the Supreme Court’s ruling and pointed out that it consented to an act of “impunity” by making a decision that contradicted the initial one.
“We have to say that it is a totally disastrous legal precedent for the administration of justice, it is a contradictory ruling with the same cassation that this same court issued when we filed a cassation because we wanted to file the case because it was time-barred,” she said.
Romy Infantas Soto, 25-year-old who replaced him in office, said she will continue to work from wherever she is. “I will work from wherever I am and that is because my vocation is to serve and serve the city of Cusco,” he said.
After Boluarte returns to the mayor’s office, she will assume the position of first alderman and lieutenant mayor.
Monday (October 12) – LIMA – Yesterday Peru’s Ministry of Health reported 3,283 more cases of COVID-19. Increased testing numbers meant the positivity rate remained relatively low compared to previous months at 12.3%.
They also reported 82 more deaths — slightly above October’s daily average of 76.6.
To date, there are 6,291 patients hospitalized by COVID-19, of which 1,210 are in ICU with mechanical ventilation. These numbers continue their rapid decrease which remains an extremely positive sign as we move towards the middle of October after most of the country was removed from major quarantine measures.
So far 743,969 people have completed their period of home isolation or have been discharged from a health facility. The number of known active cases has dropped to 105,402 which also is a huge drop from only a few weeks ago.
Monday (October 12) – LIMA – The Vice-Minister of Public Health, Luis Suarez Ognio, said yesterday that the cases reported as possible reinfections of COVID-19 in the world are still under study, but he affirmed that these do not constitute a public health problem, because it does not mean that the whole population will be infected again.
“There are people who have problems in the production of antibodies for genetic reasons, that is to say, their organism does not defend itself well. It could be a problem of the person more than a characteristic of the virus,” commented Suarez, after emphasizing that the immunology of this disease is just beginning to be known and there is still much to be investigated.
Regarding the vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the vice minister said that, although there is a margin of uncertainty, it is possible that a quantity of the antidotes will arrive to Peru in the first quarter of next year. He indicated that the Pfizer laboratory, with which there is a binding agreement, has agreed to deliver one million doses each month, beginning in January, until completing five million vaccines.
Suárez reiterated that the use of molecular and serological tests is applied depending on the moment of development of the disease. The first one — that detects the virus — is used when the person is in the first seven days from the beginning of the symptoms, and the second one — that detects the antibodies — when the patient is in the second week.
“If the rapid test is used in the first days, it will be negative, because the antibodies are not yet formed. And if a patient arrives with more than one week from the beginning of the symptoms and the molecular test is applied, it will also be negative, because the virus is no longer in the nasopharyngeal area,” explained the vice minister, after emphasizing that each one has a specific application.
Monday (October 12) – CUSCO – La Republica is reporting that since noon on Saturday 10, a gigantic fire was reported on Manantay hill in Yanahuara’s town center, Urubamba province, in the heart of the Sacred Valley. The fire quickly spread and became uncontrollable.
Helicopters of the Peruvian Air Force spread water to the high areas of the fire without positive results. At the end of the afternoon, they had to suspend the work due to the presence of tail winds and the dense smoke that prevented the pilots from seeing properly.
Almost a hundred brigadistas among firemen, policemen and residents carried out the mitigation work by land, but they left the activity at 5 p.m. on average, because, according to security protocols, at that time, the wind runs more strongly and the fire becomes more aggressive.
Romulo Centeno, Departmental Commander of the General Fire Department of Cusco, said that at 5 am this morning (Monday) there will be a reconnaissance flight to activate the combat plan, by air and land.
Monday (October 12) – LIMA – Andina News reports that the Minister of Labor and Promotion of Employment, Javier Palacios, said yesterday that formal employment is progressively increasing in the last months, surpassing those lost due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, covid-19.
He said that formal jobs in Peru before the pandemic were around four million and in the period between March and June of this year around 260,000 formal jobs were lost according to the records of the electronic payroll.
“However, as of July, August and September, the trend has changed and today there are more jobs created than lost. In July 22,000 were created, in August 80,000 and in September around 140,000,” he explained on Latina TV.
He said that the sectors that lost more formal employment were commerce, services, manufacturing, hotels and restaurants; however, the sectors that did not lose employment at any time were agriculture, agro-industry, health services, and telecommunications.
“What leads us to say something very important to recognize, the pandemic has not affected everyone equally,” he said.
On the other hand, he explained that the perfect suspension guarantees that the link will not be broken and of the 30,000 applications, 80% correspond to companies with less than 10 workers.
“If we look at the number of workers, the total universe of workers involved in perfect suspension is about 290,000. How many are involved in companies with less than 10 workers? almost 70,000,” he said.
He pointed out that 92% of the cases have already been resolved. In Lima the percentage is a little less than the regions.
“There are 50,000 workers who have applied for the economic benefit subsidy that corresponds to the perfect suspension, of which almost 40,000 have already been paid. So, we do have a space where the perfect suspension has been useful for an important group of workers,” he said.
On the other hand, he noted that the number of businesses reporting pre-pandemic spreadsheet information was 310,000; then in the first half of March it was below 50,000 and now the number is approaching pre-pandemic levels.
“Today we are quite close in the number of businesses we had before the pandemic.
He indicated that informal employment in the country will recover towards the end of this year.
“What has been happening in the last few months and that is part of the formal reports but also of the informal employment, is that a lot of unemployment is recovering. Estimates tell us that towards the end of this year and the beginning of 2021, informal employment will have its pre-covid level,” he said.
Regarding the delivery of bonds, he said that in this second delivery of the Universal Family Bond (UFB) will correspond to 8.4 million families in five stages, which benefits 21.5 million people.
“It has been better organized, not only the identification of people but the way to reach them,” he said.
Monday (October 12) – LIMA – Peru is conducting negotiations with 13 international laboratories simultaneously in order to secure access to future supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
It must be noted that Peru has signed non-binding agreements with 11 of them, Immunization Advisor at the Health Ministry (Minsa) Carlos Castillo reported.
“Peru is open to all procurement possibilities, and we will move ahead with negotiations as pharmaceutical laboratories provide more updates on the progress made in developing their vaccines, mainly on their safety and effectiveness, as well as on the delivery schedule,” Castillo stated.
In the ongoing negotiation process, the first step was the exchange of technical information —a stage that has seen 20 COVID-19 vaccine developers.
So far, he said, 13 of these developers have moved into the second stage, which includes the signing of confidentiality agreements (in which companies provide information on the results of their first clinical trials).
In the present stage, that of non-binding agreements, 10 laboratories are still in the process of negotiation and are already conducting large-scale clinical trials of their vaccines in humans (Phase 3). These 10 companies are: Sinopharm, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac, Gamaleya, Novavax, J&J, Covaxx and Arcturus, plus the COVAX Facility coalition.
To date, Peru has initiated the signing of binding agreements with the COVAX Facility coalition and Pfizer, which have provided more information and certainty about the conditions that will be available at the time of procurement.
Monday (October 12) – MADRE DE DIOS – Illegal miners in the native community of El Pilar were intervened during an operation led by personnel from the Public Ministry and the military forces. Here, the presence of illegal mining was detected on the right and left banks of the Madre de Dios River, in the sectors of Otilia, Santa Rosa, Chorrillos and Rúpac.
The authorities detected that the illegal miners were choosing night hours to carry out activities, since when operations were carried out in the area during the morning or afternoon, the presence of people was not noticed.
These actions were carried out with five river boats and the displacement of eighty military and police personnel.
In addition, the Peruvian Navy, the Specialized Environmental Prosecutor’s Office (FEMA) of Madre de Dios, Army personnel and the Environmental Department of the National Police were present.
Following this operation, 30 rafts, two wooden river boats, 16 Chinese engines, 30 hoppers, 18 suction pumps, 18 trestles, among others, were seized.
Also seized were two small motors, two electric generators, among other tools, which were used in the middle of the jungle for illegal mining in the middle of the Madre de Dios river.
In the Madre de Dios region, there are 37 indigenous communities, grouped into seven original peoples, which are Yine, Amahuaca, Kichwa Runa, Shipibo, Eshe Ejas, Harakbut and Matsigenka, according to the Native Federation of the Madre de Dios River and its tributaries (FENAMAD).
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