First modification: Last modification:
The Andean nation, which has the highest death rate from the virus in the world, exceeded 200,000 deaths this Friday, accounting for exactly 200,003 deaths. This was reported by the Ministry of Health, expressing “heartfelt condolences to the relatives at this time of pain.”
The Peruvian Ministry of Health registered 25 deaths and 1,043 cases in the last 24 hours. Since the pandemic broke out in March 2020, the Andean country of 33 million inhabitants has accumulated 2.2 million infections and 200,003 deaths, according to the latest official balance.
The figure of 200,000 deaths was reached in a context of a gradual decline in new cases and deaths, which is mainly attributed to ongoing vaccination.
“We maintain an important level of control, mortality from Covid-19 has not increased substantially throughout the national territory,” said the Minister of Health, Hernando Cevallos, a few days ago.
“It is likely that the first and second waves (of the pandemic, in August 2020 and last April, respectively) have generated immunity in a sector of the population, as well as vaccination,” he added.
The decline in infections made it possible to relax sanitary measures to accelerate the reactivation of the economy. The night curfew was reduced to two hours and restaurants are now operating at 100 percent capacity.
The Peruvian government urges, however, not to neglect the possibility of a third wave due to the spread of the Delta variant, which is now predominant in the country.
Peru corrected its death figures on May 31, which went from 69,000 to 180,000.
Since then, it has been the country with the highest mortality rate from Covid-19 in the world, with 6,065 deaths per million inhabitants, according to the AFP agency’s count based on official data.
The death rate has been falling gradually after reaching 2,500 per week in April. Last week 169 deaths were registered, according to the official balance.
The pandemic exposed the limitations of what was one of the most dynamic economies in the region, until 2019.
In 2020, GDP fell 11.12% – the worst performance in three decades – more than 2.1 million lost their jobs and the economy entered a recession, from which it has just emerged.
“This is not a game, there are so many people who are dying and children are being orphaned,” said Mirtha García Espinoza, 39, in northern Piura, one of the regions hardest hit by the pandemic.
She lost her husband, Manuel Orlando Fiestas, a 49-year-old bricklayer, who was hospitalized for 20 days due to the virus.
“You have to get vaccinated so as not to leave more sadness in your homes and not leave orphaned children,” said this mother of two children, ages 6 and 14, who keeps a huge photo of her husband on a wall in her home.
In March, Peruvian authorities approved a monthly pension of $ 55 for the 11,000 children who lost one of their parents to the pandemic.
“It hit us hard”
Two reasons explain the catastrophe caused in the country by the pandemic: the high informality of the economy and the inefficiency of the health system, according to experts.
“The pandemic hit us so hard in cases and deaths due to the high informality of the country (and) that explains why a measure such as the mandatory 107-day quarantine was not complied with,” said former Minister of Health Óscar Ugarte.
“Before the pandemic, informal employment was 70%, now it exceeds 80% and is one of the highest in the region,” said Ugarte, who indicated that people “did not comply” with the quarantine because “they had to work every day to have income, which did not happen in other countries, where companies continued to pay wages. “
“To that is added the weakness of the health system: there were people who died because the huge demand for services such as beds and medical oxygen could not be contained,” said Ugarte.
The Government wants to immunize 70% of the population older than 12 years before the end of the year.
More than 14.6 million received the two doses of the vaccine since February, which is equivalent to 52% of 28 million inhabitants over 12 years of age.