Peru will end a national quarantine of more than 100 days on Tuesday, but will maintain the closure of borders and mandatory confinement in the seven regions most affected by the pandemic, according to a decree published this Friday.
“Obtain the mandatory social isolation (quarantine) in the departments of Arequipa, Ica, Junín, Huánuco, San Martín, Madre de Dios and Áncash,” says the decree signed by President Martín Vizcarra and all his ministers, which was extended until 31 July the “State of National Emergency” for the coronavirus, which expired this Tuesday, June 30.
In these seven departments (out of a total of 25) just over six million of the 33 million Peruvians live and in them “the displacement of people will only be allowed for the provision and access to services and essential goods”, such as markets, pharmacies and banks, according to the decree published in the online edition of the official newspaper El Peruano.
The government maintained “the total closure of borders” and also extended the nightly curfew in force since March 16, after decreeing a State of Emergency ten days after the first case of coronavirus was registered in the Andean country.
Lima Without Quarantine
With the decree, the quarantine in Lima, a city of 10 million inhabitants where the coronavirus is “descending”, will end on Tuesday, according to the government, despite accumulating 70% of the country’s cases.
“In Lima, according to all the evaluations that have been made, (the coronavirus) is declining in all the districts,” Defense Minister Walter Martos told N television channel.
Despite the “targeted quarantine” by region, mandatory confinement for children under 14 and those over 65 will continue throughout Peru. Also for those who have other diseases that can be complicated if they contract the coronavirus.
Children can go for a walk accompanied by an adult. Classes are suspended at all levels, possibly for the rest of the year.
In the seven quarantined departments, the night curfew will last two hours longer than in the rest of the country. In addition, on Sundays “compulsory social immobilization is all day”.
In contrast, in Lima and the other regions without quarantine, the Sunday curfew ends.
However, the Interior Minister, Gastón Rodríguez, warned that the risk of contagion has not ended. “That is the reason why the State of Emergency extends, we seek to safeguard public health,” he told ATV Noticias.
Revive the economy
The Minister of Economy and Finance, María Antonieta Alva, declared this Thursday that the main concern of the government is the reactivation of the semi-paralyzed economy.
To this end, they were able to reopen shopping malls on Monday.
During the pandemic, two million jobs have been lost in this highly economically informal country, and the Central Bank expects a 12.5% drop in GDP in 2020. The government granted aid bonds for families and credit plans for companies.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund predicted a drop of 14% of Peru’s GDP on Friday.
Mask and distance
The decree stipulates that the use of a mask on public roads will be mandatory, as well as maintaining a distance of at least one meter with other people.
Peru is second in Latin America in coronavirus cases behind Brazil, with 272,364 infections, according to the latest daily balance from the Ministry of Health, after registering 3,762 new infections in the last 24 hours.
The deaths continue to exceed one hundred daily, with 178 deaths in the last 24 hours, increasing to 8,939 the total since the first death from the coronavirus was registered in the country on March 19.