Javier Casana leaves flowers on the portrait of his uncle Jorge Luis Casana, 62, a doctor who died from COVID-19, in Lima, Peru… the Peruvian Medical College reported that at least 11 doctors have died during the first days of 2021. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Updated view on how the vaccination against COVID-19 is progressing in Peru (daily updates)

In February 2021, the distribution of doses began in Peru. This site, which is prepared based on the Government’s Open Data platform, shows how coverage is evolving in all regions: https://data.larepublica.pe/avance-vacunacion-covid-19-peru/

Lambayeque: vaccination of adolescents will begin the first week of November (10.25.2021)

In accordance with the provisions of the national vaccination schedule against COVID-19, the regional health manager of Lambayeque, Alipio Rivas Guevara, reported that during the first week of November it is expected to begin the immunization of some 100,000 adolescents in this region. He indicated that the arrival of 60,000 doses of the Pfizer biologic is expected for that day.

…regarding the 92 confirmed cases of the Delta variant in Lambayeque, the manager said that 80% of those infected are stable, while only two presented complications. These are two adults with comorbidity, one is hospitalized in the ICU of the Almanzor Aguinaga Hospital in Chiclayo and the other in the Luis Heysen Hospital. (Source translated and edited from original Spanish: LaRepública)

75% of people over 60 are duly protected against COVID-19 (10.19.2021)

Minister of Health, Hernando Cevallos, highlighted the favorable response of the population in the vaccination centers. In Peru, there are more than 14 million people with two doses.

Cevallos highlighted the response of the population in the vaccination centers. Precisely, during “VacunaRock,” which was held last Monday at the UNMSM campus, the head of the Minsa pointed out that “75% of people over 60 years of age are duly protected. This positions us as a country that is protecting itself against the pandemic.” (Source translated and edited from original Spanish: LaRepública)

Nearly 50% of target population received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine (10.16.2021)

49% of the target population for COVID-19 vaccination in Peru has already received the two doses that prevent severe cases and death from the novel coronavirus.
So far, 31,184,940 doses have been administered in Peru. Out of that total, 17,475,858 were given as first dose, while 13,697,249 as second dose.

It should be pointed out that the target population in Peru consists of men and women over 12 years of age, that is 28,024,250 people.
Currently, everyone aged 18 years and above are eligible to get vaccinated. However, those aged 17 who turn 18 years old this year can also be inoculated. (Redacted from: ANDINA/Agencia Peruana de Noticias)

Ministry of Health (Minsa) prepares for the massive use of AstraZeneca vaccines (10.10.2021)

With a batch of more than 1.2 million doses arriving, immunization of new groups in the regions will begin. The drug is 90% effective, says vice minister. Booster dose for healthcare personnel will start with Pfizer.

1,245,900 doses of AstraZeneca has arrived in Peru, as part of the contract that Peru has with the pharmaceutical company for 14,040,000. This is the second batch, since the first of 163,200 units arrived on September 26, not counting those that arrived through the Covax Facility mechanism. The use of this vaccine has been prioritized in rural areas and, because information campaigns have not been carried out as with Sinopharm, there is a high percentage of people who did not return for their second dose. But, now that the vaccine will be applied throughout the country in a massive way, including Lima and Callao, strong communication campaigns will be carried out to fight against misinformation. (Edited and translated from original Spanish: LaRepública)

More than 86 million schoolchildren have not yet returned to school in Latin America (09.27.2021)

School education was one of the sectors most affected by the restrictions imposed to control the new coronavirus. A recent UNICEF report indicates that in Latin America, more than 86 million children have not yet returned to school. It also indicates that this puts at risk the learning process and the knowledge acquired by schoolchildren before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the last 18 months, the majority of children and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean have not seen their teachers or friends outside of a screen. Those who do not have internet have not seen them directly, ”says Jean Gough, UNICEF regional director. The official also emphasizes that there is not only the risk that children will stop learning, but that they will never return to formal education. “Virtual education must continue and improve, but it is clear that during the pandemic the most marginalized families have not had access to learning.” … a United Nations report affirms that nearly 1 billion children around the world are at risk of having a significant “learning loss” due to the interruption of face-to-face classes during the pandemic of the COVID-19. It also estimates that an approximate 47 million schoolchildren have progressively returned to school. (Source in original Spanish: LaRepública)

Vaccination in border areas and indigenous communities advances at good pace (09.27.2021)

The population of rural areas, especially in the high Andean indigenous communities of the Amazon and the border regions are responding to the call for vaccination against Covid-19, said the executive director of immunizations of the Ministry of Health ( Minsa), Gabriela Jiménez Quinteros. (They) indicated that the vaccination process against covid-19 is progressing steadily and, with the supply of vaccines that Peru now has, it has started more intensely and firmly with the population of remote areas and of difficult access due to geographical conditions. (Source in original Spanish: ANDINA)

El Ministerio de Salud destacó que el proceso de vacunación contra el covid-19 en zonas de frontera y comunidades indígenas avanza a paso sostenido. ANDINA/Difusión

First case of Delta variant confirmed in Lambayeque (08.30.2021)

The Minister of Health ended the sixth ‘Vaccine-a-thon’ in the Piura region and reported that as of 7:00p.m., August 29th, 757,894 administered doses were counted.

Thus, the sixth edition of the vaccine-a-thon managed to exceed its set goal, since it was planned to inoculate 600,000 people in the 18 regions where it was carried out. As if that were not enough, the figure could increase… as it is still necessary to receive information from the most remote areas. Likewise, officials from Minsa noted that the country already has 8,084,532 people who have completed their immunizations against COVID-19, highlighting that a month ago there were only 4.5 million. (Source in original Spanish: La República 08.30.2021)

First case of Delta variant confirmed in Lambayeque (08.21.2021)

The National Institute of Health (INS) informed the Regional Health Management of the results of the sequencing studies of a positive sample of SARS-CoV-2.

The Epidemiology Office of the Regional Health Management confirmed the first case of the Delta variant in the Lambayeque region after sequencing studies carried out by the National Institute of Health (INS) on a positive sample of SARS-CoV-2. Dafne Moreno, head of said specialized unit, told La República that he is a 30-year-old citizen who received outpatient care at the Pimentel district health center (Chiclayo province), after July 27. By 2021 the disease was detected through a diagnostic test.

According to the latest report from the Integrated System for COVID-19 (Siscovid), the Lambayeque region registers 60,423 infected and 6,267 deaths.

‘Hidden pandemic’: Peruvian children in crisis as carers die (08.16.2021)

María Belén, now six months old, is one of an estimated 99,000 children in Peru and 1.6 million globally who have lost a caregiver to Covid-19, according to a study published in the Lancet in July. Covid-19 orphanhood is a “hidden pandemic”, say researchers. Obscured by the more visible tumult of the pandemic, it is damaging the mental and physical health and economic future of the next generation. Peru faces a particularly severe crisis. High levels of informal labour, intergenerational housing and poverty have made it fertile ground for the coronavirus. It has recorded 197,000 Covid-19 deaths – the highest number in the world per capita. (Read the full article here: The Guardian 08.16.2021)

90% of ICU admissions are patients without any dose of the COVID vaccine: About 7% or 8% of ICU patients received a single dose (08.11.2021)

The president of the Peruvian Society of Intensive Medicine (Sopemi), doctor Carlos Lescano, pointed out that 90% of patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are people who have not received either dose of the covid vaccine.

Regarding the vaccines from the Chinese laboratory Sinopharm, the president of Sopemi highlighted the existence of scientific evidence on their efficacy, based on randomized clinical trials carried out in Peru and other countries. He pointed out that the health professionals who are on the front lines of the fight against the pandemic are the “palpable evidence” that this vaccine works. Regarding the characteristics of the second wave of the pandemic, Lescano pointed out that 50% of ICU patients are under 50 years of age. He specified that 30% to 40% did not present any comorbidity. Faced with the possible third wave, the specialist considered that Peru currently has around 3,000 ICU beds for covid and non-covid patients. Of these, 700 beds are available. (Source in original Spanish: LaMula.pe 08.11.2021)

Why does Peru have the highest number of deaths from COVID-19 per million inhabitants? (07.25.2021)

Despite the fact that Peru made all the right moves to get out of the COVID-19 pandemic – and that it was one of the first countries in the region to decree a total quarantine – one year and four months later, figures reveal that the efforts were not enough.

A precarious health system, labor informality, and the country’s productive inability are some of the reasons why Peru is one of the nations with the highest number of deaths from the new coronavirus per million inhabitants. The High Level Committee on COVID-19, promoted by Concytec, and which worked for two and a half months, investigated what are the main reasons why the country won in a race where nobody wants to be ahead. The nation, which will be under the command of left-wing professor Pedro Castillo as of July 28, far surpassed Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil.. in deaths per million citizens.

…the first cause is the extreme weakness of the health system… Peru only invests 3.1% of the GDP in this sector, whereas the rest of the countries in the region “invest 6% and developed countries up to 10%” and Peru “had less than half the ICU beds that smaller countries have, such as Ecuador and Bolivia….(challenges with) housing , public transportation, and the informal labor market also contributed. And… among the structural causes there is also the inconsistency of the State, the productive incapacity – due to which Peru exported almost everything during the pandemic – poor nutrition and, finally, inequality, which in recent months has worsened. (Excerpted and translated from original Spanish: LaRepública 07.25.2021)

Vaccine contracts will be delivered with the new Minister of Health (07.23.2021)

The spokesman for the Ministry of Health specified that the vaccine contracts will only be delivered to the Pedro Castillo government when the new minister of the portfolio, together with his team, takes office. The official also stressed that the documents of the negotiation with the laboratories Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Covax Facility, Human Vaccine LLC, a subsidiary of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), among others, are “confidential”.

The current Government assured that they have specified more than 98 million doses to immunize all Peruvians. These will arrive during the second semester of the year, so it is expected to comply with vaccinating all citizens 12 years of age and older. ( The regional authority assured that there are adequate personnel, logistics and locations to carry out this activity. However, he specified that the Minsa would need to send additional doses, thereby ensuring the success of this innovative prevention activity. (Excerpted from original Spanish: LaRepública 07.23.2021) )

Regional Government asked the Ministry of Health for ‘vaccine-a-thon’ in Lambayeque (07.13.2021)

…the regional authority indicated that Lambayeque was one of the regions most affected in the first and second epidemiological wave by the coronavirus. He added that, to date, 58,127 positive cases and 6,178 deaths have been registered. Diaz Bravo, stressed that the massive vaccination campaign called vaccine-a-thon must be replicated in the provinces, in order to protect the population against a possible third epidemiological wave. The regional authority assured that there are adequate personnel, logistics and locations to carry out this activity. However, he specified that the Minsa would need to send additional doses, thereby ensuring the success of this innovative prevention activity. (Excerpted from original Spanish: LaRepública 07.13.2021)

Minister Ugarte: Vaccination of 12 to 17 year olds possible in the 4th quarter of 2021 (07.01.2021)

The head of Health pointed out that most of the vaccines already contracted will arrive in the latter part of the year.

The Minister of Health, Óscar Ugarte, estimated that minors between the ages of 12 and 17 could be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the fourth quarter of this year, in order to speed up the return to face-to-face classes in schools. He explained that before the end of the current administration they will leave the updated vaccination plan, so that the entire population can be immunized this year. “I believe that the condition of being vaccinated, as many children and as teachers [to return to classes], is guaranteed for this year and that is the basis for returning to face-to-face education,” he told RPP. Ugarte added that these advances are possible thanks to the fact that the majority of contracted vaccines will arrive in the latter part of this year. He specified that for the months of August and September, the arrival of six million doses from Pfizer and 17 million for the last quarter. Last Monday, the Minister of Education announced that as of July 6, the vaccination against COVID-19 will begin for teachers in rural areas, which he described as “one of the most important achievements” of the Sagasti government. (Excerpted from original Spanish: LaRepública 07.01.2021)

Note from FACES: Students across the country have not yet returned to public/private school or university since late March, 2020. The government has offered an online “I learn at home” program in its place. However, this program is accessible only to those with good internet connection, in effect excluding most rural families.

Coronavirus in Peru: This is the situation of COVID-19 in the regions (06.28.2021)

Lambayeque: The regional manager of Health, Alipio Rivas Guevara, revealed that in Lambayeque infections by the new coronavirus were reduced by 35%, compared to the previous month. Similarly, the number of deaths has decreased by 20%. (Listen to full audio in Spanish: RPP News)

Covid: Why has Peru been so badly hit? (06.01.2021)

Its official death toll has more than doubled, after the criteria for recording Covid deaths were changed following a government review. So why has Peru been affected so badly? Up until recently, deaths in Peru were only reported as Covid deaths if there was a positive test result to back it up. But throughout the pandemic, excess death figures suggested that the real Covid death toll might be much higher. Excess deaths account for how many more people are dying than would be expected based on the previous few years. Since the start of the Covid outbreak, Peru has recorded around 150% more deaths than would be expected. (Excerpt from BBC. Read the full article here: BBC News)

Source: BBC

Covid: Peru more than doubles death toll after review (06.01.2021)

Peru has more than doubled its Covid death toll following a review, making it the country with the world’s highest death rate per capita, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The official death toll is now more than 180,000, up from 69,342, in a country of about 33 million people. Prime Minister Violeta Bermudez said the number was increased on the advice of Peruvian and international experts. This was in line with so-called excess deaths figures.

The news, released on Monday, came just six days before Peru is set to hold a presidential run-off election between leftist Pedro Castillo and right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori. (Excerpt from original BBC article. Read the full article here: BBC News)

Peru’s COVID crisis: ‘Almost all Peruvians know someone who died’ (05.06.2021)

Lima, Peru – While the world watches in horror as India’s coronavirus case count explodes, another intense outbreak is unfolding – albeit on a much smaller scale – in Peru, which sits atop the global per capita mortality rankings. The Andean nation has registered more than 4,000 excess dead per million residents since the start of the pandemic, or more than 166,815 deaths, the Financial Times reported, a 123 percent rise compared with the historical average.

Excess deaths are viewed as more accurate than the official Peruvian health ministry figure of 62,126 confirmed deaths linked to the coronavirus. “Almost all Peruvians know someone who has died from COVID,” said Cesar Carcamo, an epidemiologist at Cayetano Heredia University, Peru’s leading medical school. The country also is experiencing its deadliest period since the novel coronavirus first arrived, with 9,458 deaths recorded in April – its highest monthly death toll – although the figures have now started to come back down.

Experts attribute Peru’s disastrous pandemic performance to a cocktail of factors: poverty, a crumbling public healthcare system, a national oxygen duopoly that has failed to meet demand, and the emergence of new strains of the virus. (Excerpt – Read the full article here: Al Jazeera)

Lambayeque establishes 24 vaccination points for adults 80 years of age (05.06.2021)

In order to speed up the immunization process against Covid-19 in the Lambayeque region, 24 vaccination points have been established in different districts and capital cities – 2 of which are part of the “vaccine car” initiative- for the second group of adults over 80 years of age. The general manager of the regional government of Lambayeque, Jorge Montenegro Chavesta, said that, despite not having the personnel and logistics, the current management makes strenuous efforts to ensure that health professionals fulfill the task entrusted to them. (Excerpt edited from original Spanish: Agencia Andina)

CMP on record deaths from COVID-19: “The figures are terrifying” (04.19.2021)

On Monday, April 19, the dean of the Peruvian Medical College (CMP), Miguel Palacios, pointed out that the Government’s strategies are constantly failing, this after officially registering 433 deaths in just one day due to COVID-19, the highest number of the pandemic…. the previous record had been reported on April 10, with 384 deaths in just 24 hours.

Palacios recommended that the Government convene his institution to analyze “the way and alternative” to increase human resources. “We have alternatives with the intensive medicine society to be able to prepare related professionals, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, internists, etc., and in this way have professionals who can handle the machines, machines without professionals are useless.” (Excerpt translated from original Spanish: La República)

Peru, the worst country in the world in handling the pandemic (04.02.2021)

New figures from the Financial Times reveal true impact of COVID-19 on mortality.

In the most recent update of its coronavirus figures, the Financial Times charts global concern that reported deaths from COVID-19 are not capturing the true impact of the coronavirus on mortality around the globe. The British publication has collected and analyzed data on excess mortality (the number of deaths above the historical average) around the world, and has found that the number of deaths in some countries is more than 50% higher than usual. . “In many countries, this excess of deaths exceeds the reported numbers of deaths from COVID-19 by wide margins,” the source notes.

Adjusting for population size, the most affected countries are Peru and Ecuador, each of which has seen more than 1,000 excess deaths per million inhabitants. The two Latin American countries also have the highest percentage of excess: the excess of deaths expressed as a percentage of normal deaths during the same period. (Excerpt from original Spanish: Gestión. Read the original Financial Times report in English here)

Lambayeque now has an ultra-freezer for Pfizer vaccines (03.16.2021)

The Regional Health Management announced that it has an 80 degree Celsius deep freezer for the preservation of Pfizer vaccines against the coronavirus. In the press release, the head of the Regional Reference Laboratory in Public Health, Richard Montalvo Aguirre explained that they received two deep-freezers from the Minsa. One of them will serve to keep the COVID-19 vaccine at a suitable temperature for use. The regional immunization coordinator, José Antonio Enriquez Salazar, assured that, with this team, good quality is being guaranteed in terms of the preservation of the vaccine. (Article source, edited/translated from original Spanish: La Republica.pe)

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)

(Photo: AFP / Luka GONZALES) Source: IBT)

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

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)

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.”

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.”