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

Machu Picchu Monday

Monday, sure wish I could go to Peru…

Terraces at Machu Picchu

Lovely views at Machu Picchu, Peru

Looking down to winding roads at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Photo 1968

Opinion: I’m An American Stuck In Peru, On Lockdown Amid Coronavirus Outbreak : NPR

Dylan Baddour is a freelance journalist covering South America who is now stuck in Cajamarca, Peru, because of the coronavirus outbreak.

It was time to give up our adventure and head home to Texas. Every village in the Peruvian highlands was buzzing with talk of the spreading coronavirus. South American countries were starting to close their borders. So my partner, Pu Ying Huang, and I headed out of the Peruvian countryside and into the small city of Cajamarca, where we hoped to quickly find a flight home. But when we got there at night on March 16, it was too late. Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra had just declared a total quarantine for 15 days, halting all air and land transportation, even taxis.

With fewer than 150 cases of coronavirus identified at the time, the Andean country was immediately going into lockdown to stem the spread of the virus. (As of Tuesday, Peru — with about 32 million people — has identified 395 infection cases and five deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.) Coronavirus Live Updates Suddenly, we were among the thousands of Americans stuck in Peru.

Source: Opinion: I’m An American Stuck In Peru, On Lockdown Amid Coronavirus Outbreak : NPR