Peru Says One-Third of Population May Have Covid-19 Antibodies – Bloomberg

Peru, which has the world’s highest per capita death rate from coronavirus, will carry out a nationwide study to gauge the prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies. Cabinet Chief Walter Martos said Tuesday that between 30% and 35% of the population has probably already been exposed, which could mean that an eventual second wave of infections will be less destructive to the country’s health system and economy. Several studies published in July suggested 1 in 4 residents of the capital Lima had been infected while the rate in other parts of the South American country may have been as high as 70%.

The Andean nation of almost 33 million has reported at least 32,000 deaths from the virus, giving it the highest per capita death toll ahead of Belgium, Bolivia and Brazil. Daily deaths and hospitalization rates have fallen steadily since early August but with countries in Europe grappling with a a resurgence of the virus, Peru’s government is seeking to allay public concern that another devastating wave of infections is around the corner. Martos told Lima-based Canal N that the government’s cautious approach to reopening the economy will help reduce the risk of a major resurgence. “Unlike Europe, we’re reactivating economic activities gradually,” he said.

Peru authorized most industries to reopen between May and July but many businesses still aren’t allowed to operate at full capacity. Restaurants and department stores will be allowed to operate at 50% and 60% capacity respectively starting Thursday, an increase of 10 percentage points on July-September levels. Bars, gyms and cinemas will remain shut. International flights will restart next week, though to a limited number of South American countries.

The slow reopening is inflicting more pain on an economy that’s posted the biggest contraction among major economies in the second quarter. Peru’s Health Ministry on Monday reported 62 new virus deaths, the lowest since April, while just over 8,000 people were being treated in hospital, down from more than 14,000 about six weeks ago.

Elsewhere in Latin America Argentina, which continues to lead the world in daily deaths on a 7-day moving average per capita, reported a record 13,477 cases on Tuesday. The government unveiled a plan to boost daily testing capacity. Fiocruz Institute warned of a reduction in availability of ICU beds in three Brazilian states, including Amazonas. Chile’s unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped after eight consecutive months on the rise, as the government started easing lockdown measures imposed during the pandemic and the retail sector recovered.

International Flights to Peru to Resume October 1

Douglas airplane & Llamas (photo: Cardcow)

The operation of international flights, paralyzed by the closure of borders to avoid contagion by coronavirus (COVID-19), will restart from October 1, announced this Wednesday the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC).

“The date has already been defined, we do the flight scheduling per month. Then (it will be) October 1, it has already been arranged for that date to be ”, affirmed the head of the MTC, Carlos Estremadoyro.

The minister indicated that during September the health protocol to be followed to avoid COVID-19 infections will be finalized with the airlines, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur), the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).

Vizcarra on the law for the return of contributions to ONP: “The public treasure is only one, not a bottomless barrel”
International flights: which destinations are being evaluated to be the first to open, according to Canatur?
“We have to prepare the system and for this we have established that all this September we are going to prepare, the sale of tickets will be made, the issue of sanitary protocols will be organized for which we have already made a proposal to the airlines, “he said.

Estremadoyro said that some airlines have already accepted the proposals made by the Executive, while with others they are still holding discussions to reach an agreement.

He also assured that the number of flights will be limited, as with air travel at the national level.

“We have 18 authorized daily flights in the country and we are using 10. 18 started, they went down and now we are at 10, there is no more demand. In some cases in which there is an over-demand, for health issues we ourselves will restrict. If there were 4 flights to Spain, it would only be 1 or 2, no more ”, he pointed out.

The minister pointed out that the government aims to restart operations with the United States, Mexico, Spain, Chile, Argentina and Brazil in a first stage.

Via El Comercio Peru (translated via Google translate) Full article here (Spanish)

 

We’re very happy to see this news. Yay!

 

Machu Picchu Monday

It’s been a while, and we still don’t know when we can return, but one can dream…

Lovely views at Machu Picchu, Peru

The natives at Machu Picchu

Ancient pathway at Machu Picchu

Peru Begins to Lift Lockdown

 

Bloomberg reports:

Peru will lift quarantine measures for most of the country starting July 1, easing one of the world’s strictest lockdowns as it faces a severe economic slide.

Mandatory isolation orders will end for all but a handful of departments, according to a government decree issued late Friday, which left in place a state of emergency until July 31. Children and the elderly will continue to face restrictions and borders will remain closed.

The country of 32 million enacted severe lockdown measures in mid-March to stem the spread of the coronavirus, deploying soldiers to the streets to enforce stay-at-home measures.

The virus spread rapidly anyway, leaving Peru with nearly 9,000 deaths and more than 272,000 cases as of Friday, the highest caseload in Latin America after Brazil and the sixth-highest in the world, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The country has been gradually reopening the economy since May and is due to start the third of four phases next month, but the lockdown has taken a toll. The International Monetary Fund forecasts a 13.9% contraction this year, the steepest drop among major economies in the region.

 

 

In pictures: Peru’s most catastrophic natural disaster – BBC News

On 31 May 1970, a huge earthquake struck off the coast of Peru. The quake and the massive landslides it triggered killed approximately 70,000 people. A wall of ice came loose from Peru’s highest mountain, Mount Huascarán, careered down the mountain at incredible speed and buried the town of Yungay. A statue of Christ in the town’s cemetery and four palm trees were all that remained of Yungay.

Source: In pictures: Peru’s most catastrophic natural disaster – BBC News

Click on the link for startling photos, and the sad story of this horrific earthquake.

Peru – Peru’s casinos won’t reopen until August – G3 Newswire

According to President of the National Chamber of Tourism Carlos Canales Anchorena, casinos will not reopen until August. While the government plans a gradual reopening of the tourism sector, casinos will be the last sector to open to the public the Minister claimed.

Casinos will be opened as part of the “Tourism for All” programme which will launch in July.In an interview with magazine Caretas the minister admitted that the tourism sector was currently “in intensive care.” While large scale inbound tourism will be closed this year apart from possibly business travel he said he was optimistic that domestic tourism will see an upsurge later this year.

Source: Peru – Peru’s casinos won’t reopen until August – G3 Newswire

Peru: riot police block highway as people attempt to flee amid lockdown | World news | The Guardian

Peruvians try to return home but are stopped in Lima (photo Reuters)

Riot police in Peru have blockaded a major highway and fired teargas into crowds of people attempting to flee the capital city and return on foot to their rural hometowns as the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown entered its sixth week.

Local television images on Monday showed hundreds of families, including young children, trekking along highways with their belongings on their backs as they made long journeys to family homes. Poor Peruvians have been trying to leave Lima since last week, many saying they had to choose between hunger or homelessness in the city or risking exposure to Covid-19 as they attempt to return home.

Source: Peru: riot police block highway as people attempt to flee amid lockdown | World news | The Guardian

 

The Last Incan Princess

Yma Sumac

She claimed to be the final descendant of the last Incan Emperor, Atahualpa — a claim the Peruvian government backed in 1946 — and she allegedly learned to sing from “the creatures of the forest.” Yma Sumac didn’t just hit octaves. She knocked them out of the park with a growl, and took them for ride around the Milky Way. For opera aficionados, the Peruvian soprano goes down in history as one of the most talented, and wonderfully weird performers in modern history.

She was born in 1922 as Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo in the misty Andes mountains. When she moved to New York in 1949, Sumac was singing in hole-in-the-wall-joints in the Greenwich Village.

Some reports claimed she had a six-and-a-half octave range, in lieu of the average three. And that made her nothing short of a miracle, and she soon signed with Capitol Records. Bruce Springsteen once declared: “It takes only a fraction of a second to succumb to her unique voice.” Audio restoration expert John H. Haley said her voice had, “the bright penetrating peal of a true coloratura soprano,” but in a place of “alluring sweet darkness…virtually unique in our time.”

Read more and watch videos: Before Björk, There Was the Last Incan Princess

H/T to Ace