Peru orders total lockdown across 10 states as second wave bites

Marco Aquino
·1 min read
Medical workers take samples during mass testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Lima

By Marco Aquino

LIMA (Reuters) - President Francisco Sagasti of Peru on Tuesday night announced a total lockdown of the capital and nine other regions following a significant increase in COVID cases, which he said had pushed hospitals close to collapse.

Sagasti said the new measures covering central Peru would remain in effect until at least Feb. 14. They include instructions to work from home, the closure of all non-essential shops, the suspension of interregional land and air travel and the extension of a ban on flights coming from Europe to flights from Brazil in a bid to curb new, more contagious strains of the virus.

On Tuesday, Peru reported 4,444 new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total to 1,107,239, and 40,107 deaths. According to Reuters data https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/peru/Reuters%20data, Peru's cases are at 57% of an Aug. 22 peak, when more than 9,000 new cases were confirmed.

Sagasti said COVID vaccines were the way out of the crisis and pledged to be among the first to receive the shot.

He said the first one million of an order for 38 million doses of Sinopharm's candidate vaccine would arrive "in the coming days", ready for an inoculation campaign to begin in February.

Peru also has a deal to buy 14 million doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and its regulators are also weighing emergency use requests from Russia’s Gamaleya Institute and Pfizer.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino, writing by Aislinn Laing; Editing by Robert Birsel)