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 February 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, Peru’s cases are at 57% of an August 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.