Lima, Peru, December 22, 2020. REUTERS/Angela Ponce

COVID-19: 50 thousand doses of Pfizer arrive today and 1.2 million of AstraZeneca by end of May (03.03.2021)

In full application of the second dose of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine to health personnel in critical areas, the shipment of a new laboratory will arrive today. These are the first 50,000 doses from the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which will allow the immunization process to continue for front-line personnel, President Francisco Sagasti assured yesterday.

But there are also those of the Covax Facility mechanism, of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, which reported yesterday that Peru will receive 1,296,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through May. This is part of a larger list that includes 26 million vaccines for 18 countries in the region in the next three months. This weekend the monthly terms will be provided, based on national regulations, supply availability and other requirements. Through Covax, Peru will also receive a “special shipment” of 117 thousand doses from Pfizer, as reported by La República. However, like Bolivia and El Salvador “it must finalize the administrative, legal and regulatory requirements to advance in the process.” (Article source, translated from original Spanish: La Republica)

Oxygen imported from Chile to arrive in four or five days, says Violeta Bermúdez

Oxygen imported from Chile should arrive in four or five days, and Southern Peru will donate an additional 20 tons of oxygen starting Tuesday… “…Southern is going to provide 20 tons of oxygen a day to narrow the gap. In addition, we are acquiring oxygen from Chile, which will be departing tomorrow from Antofagasta, arriving in four or five days. That’s 40 tones a week from Chile…”

…the current demand for medicinal oxygen is 444 tons per day, more than twice as high as in the first wave. In addition, the deficit amounts to 100 tons per day. Bermúdez added that the State is pressuring the National University of Engineering (UNI) “to comply with the oxygen plants purchased by the Peruvian state and are behind in delivery.” (Source: Translated and edited from original Spanish: Peru21, 02.22.2021)

(Foto: Hugo Curotto | GEC)

‘The best shield’: Peru launches inoculation drive with Sinopharm vaccine (02.09.2021)

Peru launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Tuesday with newly arrived doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine, as the South American country struggles to control a fierce second wave of infections that has forced a lockdown in the capital, Lima. Health officials kicked off the program in the intensive care unit of Lima’s Arzobispo Loayza Hospital, authorities said, where medical staff were slated to receive the first of 300,000 doses delivered on Sunday by Sinopharm Group Co Ltd. Peruvian President Francisco Sagasti was vaccinated later in the day and urged vaccine skeptics to get inoculated. A survey by Ipsos Peru last month showed 48% of Peruvians would refuse to be vaccinated, citing fears of side effects.

Coronavirus infections have spiked in Peru this year, bringing hospitals and the country’s ailing healthcare system to the brink of collapse. Authorities have detected both the Brazilian and British variants of the virus, officials said. Peru, which was mired in a political crisis last year, initially lagged behind its wealthier neighbors in locking down COVID-19 vaccine deals. The Andean nation has since signed agreements with U.S.-based Pfizer Inc , British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca and Sinopharm, and is also slated to receive vaccines through the World Health Organization’s COVAX program. The country plans to begin immediately inoculating a million health officials, police and military personnel, among others, the government said, in a first round of vaccinations that will likely run through March.

Peru will then vaccinate 5.3 million elderly people, those suffering from pre-existing conditions and its native communities. Peru’s deal with Sinopharm guarantees the country 38 million doses. A fresh batch of 700,000 doses is expected to arrive on Sunday, health officials said. Peru has tallied almost 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 and 42,400 deaths. (Article source, read in its original English: Reporting by Marco Aquino and Reuters TV; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Paul Simao and Peter

Government of Peru Extends COVID Regulations and Curfews (02.11.2021)

Soldiers stand guard minutes after the start of the curfew during the coronavirus emergency. (Photo: Rodrigo Abd / AP)

On February 10, ​2021, the government of Peru announced the extension of emergency self-quarantine and movement restrictions due to high levels of COVID-19 spread for an additional 14 days until February 28 in ​32 provinces of 17 regions of Peru.  Regions considered on “Extreme Alert” include the city of Lima, Lima ​metropolitan region, Callao, Áncash, Pasco, Ica, Huánuco, Junín, Huancavelica, and Apurímac, and selected provinces of other regions.  Other regions ​of Peru are at lower alert levels.  The government of Peru indicated it would reevaluate and adjust these public health measures every 15 days. (Source: U.S. Embassy, Lima Peru, 02.11.2021)

Lambayeque: Deaths from COVID-19 increase by 20% in January (01.29.2021)

The manager in charge of the Lambayeque Regional Health Management, Félix García Ahumada, revealed that in the month of January the death rate from COVID-19 increased by 20%.

“So far this month, which is already ending, deaths are at the number of 216, a higher number compared to the month of December. We are in the numbers of deaths for the month of October, and still far from the worst situation we had in May last year,” he commented. The specialist explained that in the year 780 new cases have been recorded, that is, 26 daily cases. Regional Health Management asked to redouble prevention measures because 780 new infections were reported in the month of January alone. “We are in the numbers of deaths for the month of October, and still far from the worst situation we had in the month of May of last year, “said the manager in charge of the health sector, Felix Ahumada. (Translate from original Spanish: RPP, 01/29/2021)

Photo credit: RPP Noticias

Lambayeque will receive 24,000 doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 (01.22.2021)

Regional Health Management assures that the Lambayeque region will receive a total of 24,000 doses of the vaccine. Regional coordinator of immunizations, José Antonio Enriquez Salazar, indicated that 12,088 doses will be applied in the first phase to health workers, police, members of the armed forces, firefighters, and brigade members… the first batch comprises only the first dose; however, at 21 to 28 days, the second will be supplied to the same number of people.

In the same way, (Enriquez Salazar) assured that the region has the logistics for the conservation of the vaccine. “There is cold chain equipment in urban and rural areas with electric, solar and domestic refrigerators that guarantee the conservation of the biological at a temperature of +2 to +8 degrees,” he said. (Excerpt translated from original Spanish, LaRepublica 01.22.2021)

Lambayeque was the second region with the highest fatality due to COVID-19 (01.21.2021)

The president of the Lambayeque Medical Federation, Paúl Larrea, requested a change in health strategies, since the epidemiological curve is rising in terms of infections and deaths from COVID-19 in the region. The authority even specified that the indicators reflect a more complex situation than in the first wave.

He emphasized that the Regional Health Management (Geresa) must contemplate an action plan based on community intervention that implies the formation of brigades with district authorities, as well as the strengthening of the 182 health establishments of the first level of care … he expressed that hospitals do not have the capacity to respond because they do not have intensive care physicians and nurses, ICU beds and diagnostic tests. … Likewise, he noted that not having sufficient molecular and antigenic tests prevents epidemiological fences from forming and new cases of SARS-CoV-2 from being detected more widely. (Excerpt translated from original Spanish, LaRepublica 01.21.2021)

“Peruvian health care workers queue to receive the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine against COVID-19 in Lima” (hoto: AFP / Luka GONZALES) Source: IBT

4 tons of medicines and medical supplies sent to rainforest to fight COVID-19 (01.22.2021)

The Ministry of Production (Produce), in coordination with the Ministry of Health (Minsa) and the Social Health Insurance System (EsSalud), sent 4 tons of medicines, personal protective equipment, and medical supplies to the rainforest region of Loreto in order to strengthen its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The load — made up of 92,790 medicine units, 20,000 units of venoclysis equipment, 3,025 pairs of gloves, and 3,000 units of medical supplies — was sent on a flight provided by the Ministry of Defense. (Source: ReliefWeb 01.22.2021)

Private clinics reached 100% of their ICU bed capacity (01.18.2021)

It is not only the public health system that is collapsing again due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Private clinics have already reached the limit of their capacity for beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), reported on Monday, January 18, by Sebastián Céspedes, spokesman for the association of private clinics.

“The private ICUs are also crowded. We are at 100% capacity in the intensive care rooms in the private clinics,” Céspedes said in a statement to RPP Noticias. The spokesman for the association of private clinics explained that the current situation is unique because, in 2020, the care for other diseases had been canceled and now, in 2021, there are ICU beds occupied by Covid as well as the other other pathologies. “If we want to continue with this comparison, the situation is as critical as the one Peru experienced in August or September of last year,” said Céspedes. Faced with this situation, the spokesperson pointed out that private clinics are taking measures such as postponing surgical interventions and returning to virtual medical appointments. (Translated from original Spanish, 01.18.2021)

Lambayeque declares preventive ‘frontal war’ against the second wave of Covid-19 (01.12.2021)

We must worry not about ICU beds but about reinforcing the first level of care, urges Governor LozanoA “frontal war” against covid-19 in the preventive stage, to avoid more infections in the second wave of the pandemic in Lambayeque, announced today regional governor Anselmo Lozano Centurión.

The Lambayecan authority ruled on the health actions that its management will adopt in the working meeting it held with regional managers to evaluate the administrative progress of the region. Health is a problem that will be faced at the first level and does not involve the concern of having more ICU beds or mechanical ventilators, since at that stage only between 1% and 2% of patients are saved, but it is necessary to reinforce the preventive phase, he emphasized.

The governor pointed out that the Lambayeque Regional Hospital has the largest medicinal oxygen plant in South America and soon the Belén and Ferreñafe hospitals will have the same, in late January or early February, so the surplus will be for the stock of health centers, He specified that patients, with the first symptoms, should go to the nearest health center to control the disease at the first level of care, thus avoiding hospitalization. In this sense, the 182 health centers will have an oxygen stock and pulse oximeters to measure oxygen saturation in patients. He indicated that if preventive measures are not taken, more deaths will be regretted in the region. (Translated from original Spanish: Andina, 01.12.2021)

Covid 19: How to get vaccines to those who need them in Peru? (01.07.2021)

The country will have to face one of its greatest public health challenges in its history: to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines reach every corner of Peru and to the people who need it most.

Clinical trials are underway for two candidate vaccines from Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, consisting of two doses each. Furthermore, its peers AstraZeneca / Oxford, Curevac, and Johnson & Johnson are on the same path.

Once the objective is established by the health authorities, the next challenge will be to know where the population that you want to serve first is located and how many there are. … the obstacle is that for now there are not many studies that show where the people most susceptible to COVID-19 are found and who have not yet been infected. .. Another important challenge will be the transport of the lots to each region, since vaccines, mainly genetic ones, need special cold chains to be kept in good condition. A recent report by El Comercio explains in depth the logistical challenges that the Government will face during vaccination.

(…the current goal)… is that, before the winter of 2021, a first large group of Peruvians will have already received vaccines against COVID-19. (Excerpt from original Spanish: El Comercio, 01.07.2121)

(Photo: Luka GONZALES / AFP) – From El Comercio Jan 7, 2021)

Mandatory quarantine in Peru from today: Who will abide by it, for how long and where? (01.04.2021)

The increase in cases and deaths of infected by the new coronavirus in the last weeks of the year has led to the Peruvian government demanding a mandatory quarantine of fourteen days for anyone traveling to our Peru starting January 4, 2021. This measure seeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and thus reduce the risk of contagion of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 already circulating on the planet.

The Supreme Decree No. 207-2020-PCM, issued on the night of December 31, 2020… states that quarantine will be counted from the day of arrival in the national territory and must be complied with by “all Peruvians, foreigners residing in Peru and visiting foreigners, who enter the national territory by international transport, regardless of the country of origin.”

Photo credit: Eduardo Cavero / GEC

According to this decree, Peruvians, resident foreigners and visitors will carry out quarantine at their home, in the Villa Panamericana or another temporary isolation center, or in a lodging, after coordination with the health authorities. (Excerpt translated from original Spanish, El Comercio 01.04.2021)

A pandemic atlas: Peru’s death toll leaves a grieving nation (12.16.2020)

(Photo: Leandro Britto / @photo.gec) – El Comercio 11.04.2020

The magnitude of loss in this South American nation that for months held the grim title of first worldwide in per capita COVID-19 deaths is striking. A recent poll found that seven in 10 Peruvians know someone who died from the virus. Many know far more than just one. Marín estimates he knows at least 50. “On every block, there is someone who has died…” By CHRISTINE ARMARIO, AP News

The story of Peru did not have to be this way. Decades of under-investment in public health and poor decisions at the onset of the pandemic, coupled with severe inequality and shortages of life-saving goods like medicinal oxygen, combined to create one of the world’s deadliest outbreaks.

Peruvian officials have called the pandemic the most devastating public health crisis to hit the country since 1492, when Europeans brought diseases like smallpox and measles to the Americas, devastating indigenous populations. (Read the full article here: AP News)

(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

… the publication The Economist reveals that Peru will have vaccines in 2022 and not in 2021 (12.13.2020)

The Economist, in La Gestion

Pilar Mazzetti to the Covid 19 Special Commission: “The threat of a second wave is real.” (12.07.2020)

“We see the summer activities, there will be trips, there will be carnivals, Easter and elections. We can have all the rules of the world, we can do everything possible so that this does not happen, but nothing will work if we are not responsible,” said the minister.

In her presentation to the special commission on COVID-19, Minister of Health Pilar Mazzetti noted that Peru is currently experiencing a lower rate of transmission of COVID-19, but that does not mean that the situation cannot change at any time if security measures are not maintained. “We can be in low transmission, but that can be transformed at any time. We have had marches, parties are coming at the end of the year. We have seen crowds in places where there is trade. We see the summer activities, there will be trips, there will be carnivals, Easter and elections. We can have all the rules in the world, we can do everything possible to prevent that from happening, but nothing will work if we are not responsible (…). The threat of a second wave is a real risk, ” she said. . Read full article in original Spanish here: 12.07.2020)

Extension of National Emergency in Peru until March of 2021 (11.27.2020)

According to an Executive Decree, stores will be able to reach ca capacity of 60& (previously, the allowed capacity was 50%), while restaurants and related services, with the exception of bars, will go froma cpacity of 40% to 50%.

The Government of President Francisco Sagasti announced this Friday the extension of the state of health emergency due to the new coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) from December 7, 2020 and for a period of 90 calendar days. Through Supreme Decree No. 031-2020-SA, it is sought that the
Ministry of Health guarantees the public health service in cases where there is a high risk or damage to the health and life of the populations due to the
health emergency.  Read full article in original Spanish here: 11.27.2020)

UNESCO: 160 million children miss school due to Covid-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean

Of the 21 countries in the region, 20% of the students from middle and upper class families have an average of five times greater chance of graduating high school that the poorest 20%.

More than 160 million boys and girls do not attend school in Latin America and the Caribbean due to the health crisis that caused the pandemic. COVID-19 deepened the educational gaps in the region, which was already the most unequal in the world, reported Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) at the Regional Forum for Educational Policies on Inclusion and education in post-pandemic times. “The worst part of the pandemic is that it put at risk the childhood of 767 million girls, who during confinement are more likely to absorb domestic work and suffer domestic violence; 11 million of them may never go back to school. (Excerpt, translation from original Spanish: LaMula 11.23.2020)

Peru Facing Rural COVID-19 Disaster (10.30.2020)

When COVID-19 struck Peru in March 2020, thousands of Peruvians chose to leave large cities and return to their community origins in rural locations.

In Piura, northern Peru, the challenges faced by those returning and their host communities became a severe concern to researchers from the Centro de Investigación y Promoción del Campesinado (CIPCA) in Peru and the Centre for Amerindian and Latin American Studies (CAS) at the University of St Andrews who have been examining the impact of the El Niño phenomenon on livelihoods in the region since 2016. (Read more: Medical Xpress)

U.S. Embassy Peru alert: Resumption of flights to the U.S. and changes to quarantine restrictions (10.23.2020)

Resumption of direct flights to the U.S.: 

On October 21, the government of Peru approved flights of up to eight hours in duration to destinations throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. Beginning on November 1, travelers will be able to take direct flights to U.S. destinations including: Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, and New York. Other destinations will include Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Mexico. Travelers should work directly with travel providers to book flights to these destinations. For more information see (in Spanish): Ministerial Resolution 0727-2020-MTC/01.

Delia, FACES Patient Coordinator in Peru

Words from Delia….

“Believe me, the situation in Peru is very difficult. Many people are without work. Police and military are everywhere to make sure you have a reason to be out of your house.  I wish I could walk around my neighborhood, walk around the block. I cannot. We have lost our freedom.”

Citizens form a line outside a supermarket, courtesy of Lambayeque news source:

Quotes from Patient’s Parents

“The main problem we have is that we are not working, we want to work. We need to eat. We have to find the way to get something for the table. I am a farmer and now everything is stopped. It is very worrying , we need money. We have nothing to continue surviving. I want to work but there is nothing.”

“We all the family are Ok, only the virus. We are scared, we don’t know when this will finish. The situation is hard for us. Sometimes we do not have the food but we always try to get something and share it and make it feed everyone in the family. We just have to obey the president but it is very difficult, we need to work.”

 “I used to work cleaning farming ditches for watering in Huarmey, which is near Lima . But when all this started I had to come back. My wife is very scared that something can happen to me being far away. But the problem here is that I can not work, it is worrying because we need food and we are running out of money. Here in the farm we try to eat whatever to pass the days. My wife doesn’t want me to travel But I need to work for my family.” 

“We live in the countryside and luckily in this area there are no problems with the virus. We can eat whatever, here in the farm there is always something we can eat, it is not like in Chiclayo… one problem we have is with the cell signal – the signal is interrupted all the time.”

“Here in this area nothing happens, there is no work around here. We are locked in our houses because the situation in Lambayeque and Chiclayo is getting worse, we hear a lot about infected people.

In this area my whole family is near us. We help each other. At least we can eat sweet potatoes every day. Sweet potatoes always grow in this area. We are farmers and now everything has been stopped. We have to earn a little money daily to be able to eat. We don’t go out because we have to take care of our children… It is scary when we hear the news and we have to protect our children.”