Peru PM: Without adopted measures, COVID-19 numbers would be worse

15:29 | Lima, Jul. 10.

Prime Minister Vicente Zeballos on Friday affirmed that —without the drastic and severe measures decreed by the Government to face the COVID-19 pandemic— the number of confirmed cases and deceased people would be much higher in Peru.

"We lament that more than 11,000 Peruvians are no longer with us. Yet we are convinced that —without these drastic and severe measures— the outcome of the pandemic would have been much worse (…) perhaps, as the medical team accompanying the Ministry of Health said, the number (of deaths) would be five times higher," he expressed.

Within this framework, the Cabinet chief commented that it was difficult and complex for the Executive Branch to establish the emergency rule argumentatively speaking, since the expression "quarantine" was only found in the General Health Law, but without further explanation or regulation, and —even less— antecedents for its implementation.

Zeballos said that the quarantine has exposed the serious weaknesses that the State has. In this sense, he referred that —at the beginning— Peru only had 100 Intensive Care Units (ICU). However, the country currently relies on 1,200, and the objective is to reach 2,000 in the coming months.

In terms of hospital capacity, there used to be only 2,000 beds. Nonetheless, Peru has currently 15,000 and expects to rely on 20,000 soon —a number that will still be insufficient.

He also highlighted the creation of the multisectoral state commission in charge of identifying the vaccine against COVID-19. It is led by Foreign Affairs Minister Gustavo Meza-Cuadra.

Lastly, Zeballos said that the Executive Branch is "making the best effort to contain this pandemic."


Published: 7/10/2020