President of Peru discusses coronavirus

President Martín Vizcarra announcing new measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Peru. Photo by ANDINA/Prensa Presidencia.

The first case of coronavirus in Peru was confirmed on March 6, 2020.

By March 11, that number had reached 13 confirmed cases: eight in Lima, two in Huánuco, two in Chincha and one patient in Arequipa. There have been no deaths so far. On March 15 the total number of cases rose to 71.

This number is certain to rise, and the whole situation is going to change as more cases are confirmed and the government reacts to the situation. This post is for any significant updates regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Peru.

Coronavirus in Peru: Important Updates (Most Recent First)

March 15, 2020: Peru is now officially on lockdown. The government has announced an enforced home quarantine for the whole country, beginning on Monday, March 16. All borders are closed. More details will follow tomorrow.

March 13, 2020: Yesterday an official government announcement was made in El Peruano. This states that flights between Peru and Asia and Europe are suspended BOTH WAYS. The official state announcement says that they are “suspending flights from Europe and Asia, and from the national territory to said destinations, for a period of thirty (30) calendar days from March 16, 2020, for reasons of public interest.” This 30-day period might be extended.

March 12, 2020: The Peruvian Government has just announced that the High Level Multisectoral Commission has agreed “as a first measure, to suspend the arrival of flights from Europe and Asia, in order to strengthen prevention measures to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.” This will begin on Monday, March 16. Passengers arriving on flights before then (through to Sunday) will be allowed to enter Peru.

March 12, 2020: Hoarding begins in earnest in some cities, including Lima and Arequipa. Toilet paper, rice, soap and canned goods are among the products selling out.

March 11, 2020: Peru’s president, Martín Vizcarra, announces that all people arriving in Peru from Italy, Spain, France and China will be required to stay in “home isolation” for 14 days upon arriving in the country. This is the first major step taken by the government, and it is indeed major. Presumably most people from these countries, especially potential tourists, will simply not come to Peru given this new measure. If they do come, it remains to be seen how exactly the home quarantine will be handled and enforced. Argentina and Colombia have also confirmed a similar 14-day home quarantine.