Up to 40 people die from COVID-19 every week in Peru

17:41 | Lima, Nov. 5.

COVID-19 continues to cause deaths in Peru. Between 30 and 40 people die from this disease in the country every week, and the victims are mainly people over 60 years of age, National Health Institute (INS) Chief Victor Suarez said on Sunday.

"Three out of every four deaths are people over 60 years of age. This is the most vulnerable group; that is why we emphasize vaccination against this disease," he commented while reporting on the first case of the BA.2.86 or 'Pirola' variant in the country.

Suarez told Latina TV channel that there was an average of 70 deaths per week until last July or August, but thanks to the increase in immunization with the bivalent vaccine and the awareness of more people, the figure has dropped to 30-40 per week.

"We want deaths to stop, but we need to continue applying booster doses of the bivalent vaccine in the population to that end," he said.

"Any age group can be vulnerable, even children, which is why vaccination can be given as early as 6 months of age," the INS head added.

Currently, he said, different COVID-19 variants prevail in Peru, especially Kraken, which is detected by 3 out of every 4 sequencing analyses. 

Next is Fornax, which accounts for 17% of the cases; and finally Eris, which entered the country in August and accounted for 4% of the sequenced samples.

"We will see what happens with the new Pirola variant, which is present in 30 countries, especially in Europe, where it is increasing slowly. In the Americas, more cases are reported in the north: in the United States and Canada. Likewise, in South America, the first case was detected in Brazil and the second one in Peru," he explained.

The BA.2.86 or Pirola variant has been labelled as a "variant under monitoring" by the World Health Organization (WHO).

BA.2.86 or 'Pirola' variant is under monitoring designated as such by the World Health Organization (WHO) because it possesses high capacity to evade existing immunity from prior illness and vaccinations.


Published: 11/5/2023