Peru’s strict lockdown policies have not reduced the spread of COVID-19

Strict lockdown measures in Peru have done little to curb the spread of COVID-19. GlobalData’s forecast for Peru indicates that the country may have reached its peak in the first week of June, but, based on current data, GlobalData does not expect Peru to enter recovery until the end of August*. Peru will need to remain vigilant and continue to develop its testing capabilities, especially among workers and visitors in areas of high contagion such as food markets and banks. Contact tracing as the economy reopens is crucial to stop the chain of transmission by isolating the virus and preventing a new surge.

Ana Fernandez-Menjivar, MSc DLSHTM, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData, comments: “Although Peru was one of the first areas in Latin American to implement a strict nationwide lockdown, it has become one of the major hotspots for the COVID-19 outbreak in the region. Several factors led to the rapid increase in cases despite early measures to curb the spread of the virus, among them being people unable to follow the lockdown rules due to social and economic inequalities.”

Since lockdown on March 16, cases in Peru have only continued to increase at an alarming rate. Peru has not been able to flatten the curve, and the country reported more than 50% of its total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in just the three weeks leading up to June 14.

According to INEI data, many homes in Peru do not have a refrigerator, which makes it difficult for people to store food for more than a few days and leads them to go out several times a week to buy food in already crowded markets. Additionally, poor households, which are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, are less likely to have access to running water indoors and by extension are less likely to follow the primary prevention measure of frequent handwashing.

Another barrier preventing people from staying home is the large proportion of Peruvian adults without some type of financial product such as a checking or saving account, causing people to form long lines outside of banks in order to collect government aid.

Lockdown in Peru was recently extended to the end of June, but will be less strict to allow the continued reopening of businesses such as hair salons, dental services and household appliance stores.

*Continued monitoring of new cases and country trends is needed to determine Peru’s future trajectory

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