18:01 | Washington D.C. (U.S.), Sep. 21.
At a meeting with entrepreneurs in Washington D.C. (U.S.), Health Minister Hernando Cevallos
on Tuesday stressed the importance of encouraging investments in Peru but protecting the economically active population from COVID-19.
"It is important to encourage investments, but, to that end, we need our people to be duly protected; our economically active population cannot run the great risk of getting infected again, which may reduce our economic potentialities," he expressed.
During his participation, the health sector's head affirmed that the Government has ruled out —at least for the moment— the possibility of returning to a lockdown, so as not to cripple the economy.
Nevertheless, Cevallos noted that this decision is accompanied by two fundamental aspects that will allow combating COVID-19 in a better way: i) making progress in the vaccination process nationwide and ii) purchasing cryogenic plants, in order to ensure the supply of medical oxygen in the face of the third wave of COVID-19.
In the case of the vaccination, the Cabinet member affirmed that, in one and a half month, Peru went from vaccinating 14% of the target population to inoculating 33% of citizens with two doses.
This progress was possible because pharmaceutical companies —including Pfizer— delivered the vaccines punctually, which is why the minister expressed his gratitude to them and committed them to continue supporting Peru.
"We estimate that a third wave will hit in the coming 15 or 20 days. If we had a greater number of vaccines, it would be great. We have developed a strategy to bring the Ministry of Health (Minsa)
closer to the population, with vaccination teams in various places across the country, in order to close the vaccination gap for the most vulnerable," he explained.
As for the cryogenic plants, the high-ranking official indicated that the State is willing to purchase them, but it has difficulties to bring them, since their transport by ship takes three weeks or more.
"It would be a great contribution to us if the U.S. Government could help us with aircraft capable of transporting these cryogenic plants; this would help us a lot to avoid the lack of oxygen, which is key to protect our population," he remarked.