LIMA – President Francisco Sagasti of Peru announced a complete lockdown of the capital and nine other regions on Tuesday evening after COVID cases increased significantly, bringing hospitals close to the collapse.
Sagasti said the new measures for central Peru would stay in place until at least February 14th. These include instructions for working from home, closing all non-essential stores, suspending interregional land and air travel, and extending a ban on flights from Europe to flights from Brazil to contain new, more contagious strains of the virus.
On Tuesday, Peru reported 4,444 new cases of the coronavirus, a total of 1,107,239 and 40,107 deaths. According to Reuters HerePeru’s cases are at 57% from a high on August 22, when more than 9,000 new cases were confirmed.
Sagasti said COVID vaccines were the way out of the crisis and promised to be among the first to get the shot.
He said the first million of a 38 million doses order for Sinopharm’s vaccine candidate will arrive “in the coming days,” ready for a vaccination campaign set to begin in February.
Peru has also signed a contract to purchase 14 million doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc, and its regulators are also weighing requests from the Russian Gamaleya Institute and Pfizer for emergency use.