The state of national emergency —declared by President Martin Vizcarra on Sunday night to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19) from spreading in Peru— began today at 00:00 hours (local time).
In a televised Address to the Nation
, the Head of State reported that the Council of Ministers had approved a Supreme Decree declaring a state of national emergency for a period of 15 days. It implies mandatory social isolation.
In this sense, the top official indicated that —during this period of time— the Executive Branch guarantees the supply of food, medicine, as well as the continuity of the services linked to water, sanitation, electric power, gas, fuel, telecommunications, cleaning, solid waste collection, funeral services, and others.
Likewise, the statesman specified that the Peruvian National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces will adopt measures to guarantee public services provision.
"During the state of emergency, the exercise of constitutional rights relating to personal freedom and security, the inviolability of homes, and the freedom of assembly, as well as transit across the national territory, are restricted," he added.
The President also announced the total closure of borders (starting today at 11:59 p.m.), suspension of international passenger transport by land, air, sea, and river. It must be noted the transport of cargo and merchandise is not included.
"I want to emphasize, once again, that these measures, in no way, contemplate the closure of commercial establishments selling basic need products, pharmacies or banks, which will continue to operate and will be permanently supplied," he added.
People allowed to circulate in public include those who are in charge of the provision of services and essential goods related to the acquisition, production, and supply of food items and pharmaceutical products; health centers; those who return to their place of residence; and people who take care of the elderly, children, dependent adolescents, and disabled persons.
Also exempted from the mandatory social isolation include financial entities; insurance and pension systems, as well as complementary and related services that guarantee their proper functioning; production, storage, transportation, distribution, and sale of fuel; the media; and call centers.
"As of this Monday, March 16, the activities of public and private sector workers in the country are suspended," the Presidency of the Council of Ministers said in a statement following the presidential address.