DES MOINES, Iowa — Peru has been one of the countries hit the hardest by COVID-19. With one of the world’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks, a significant portion of the population left unemployed and one of the tightest lockdowns, there is much to know about the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru.
5 Facts About COVID-19 in Peru
- Roughly 962,530 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Peru by November 29, 2020. The country’s record of COVID-19 cases began in March and has remained high since then. Of Peru’s 32.51 million people, 35,966 deaths were confirmed by the end of November 2020. The largest spike in the country’s confirmed COVID-19 cases was toward the end of August, with 167,306 active cases on August 23.
- Unemployment rate in Peru has increased significantly. With 70% of Peru’s population employed in the informal sector where it is difficult to practice social distancing, the choices are to risk infection or lose an income. In Lima, Peru’s capital, “1.2 million people lost their jobs between February and April.” To prevent a loss of income, several workers have moved from large cities like Lima to smaller, less populated areas.
- Level 4 Travel Health Notice from CDC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Peru due to high levels of COVID-19. Level 4 means that the CDC recommends that people should not travel to Peru. If essential, strict protocols need to be followed in regard to testing and quarantines.
- Peru’s legislature impeached the nation’s president. On November 9, President Martín Vizcarra was relieved of his duties as Peru’s president, with legislators citing discontent over his response to COVID-19 as a reason for his impeachment. The additional reason Peru’s legislators removed Vizcarra from office was based on claims of money laundering. Vizcarra has been accused of accepting “more than $630,000 in exchange for two construction projects” during his time as governor of the Moquegua Region from 2011 to 2014. The charges against Vizcarra are under investigation.
- CARE Peru assists during COVID-19. CARE Peru is an NGO that is committed to providing food and support to people who are vulnerable because of the global pandemic. CARE Peru has been active for more than 49 years and has tasked itself to provide aid in disaster situations like the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru. CARE Peru’s goal is to provide nutrition to families that are currently struggling. CARE Peru provides healthy meals with sufficient grains, meats, fruits and vegetables. More than 1200 people in Lima receive these meals daily through the organization’s Feed Your Strength Initiative. Half of the recipients of these meals are women and 35% are under 18 years old. All meals are made and delivered safely, following cleanliness and social distancing guidelines.
Though the intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru remains persistent, security measures are tight to protect the people of Peru. With the humanitarian work of organizations like CARE Peru, struggling families are not forgotten and the most vulnerable are taken care of.
– Celia Brocker