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.
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).
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“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!
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.
Here’s a few more to start your week:
Here’s a few more. These are from the waterfalls at Ahuashiyacu near Tarapoto. Enjoy!
More pics from the recent trip…Enjoy!