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Peru: Govt buys 1.6 million tests to detect coronavirus

17:21 | Lima, Mar. 19.

The President of the Republic Martin Vizcarra on Thursday announced the ambitious purchase of 1.6 million tests to detect the coronavirus (COVID-19) with the aim of being able to conduct many more tests and get to know the exact number of infected citizens in Peru.

The Head of State said that having carried out only 3,841 tests "is not enough," considering that the population stands at 32 million. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct more of them.

"We have agreed to make a very ambitious purchase of tests. We had 10,000 in the country. Today, we have authorized the Economy and Finance Minister to make the purchase of 1.6 million tests," he told reporters.

The top official noted that 1.4 million will be rapid tests, while the remaining 200,000 are molecular ones, which are more expensive but offer a higher level of confidence.

Mr. Vizcarra noted that as part of this purchase —which is expected to arrive next week— eight molecular kits will also be acquired to be distributed in the main regions, thus decentralizing these types of tests.

Regarding the stock of coronavirus detection tests, out of the 10,000 —which were previously available— there are just over 6,000 left because —during this time— 3,841 samples were taken.


On this occasion, the President was joined by members of the Council of Ministers. The event was held at the Government Palace in Lima.

(END) JCC/CVC/MVB

Published: 3/19/2020
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