Peru Hits New COVID Case Record as Brazilian Variant Spreads

Peru Hits New COVID Case Record as Brazilian Variant Spreads

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru said on Thursday it had confirmed a record high of 11,260 new cases of coronavirus in a single day amid a new more contagious variant first identified in Brazil, a shortage of medical equipment and near-saturated hospitals.

Peru’s total caseload since the virus first hit in March last year is now 1,492,519 and 50,656 deaths, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday night.

During the first wave of infections, Peru reached its peak on Aug. 16, with 10,143 infected, according to official data.

However, during the second wave currently engulfing it, the country has been impacted by a new and highly contagious COVID variant known as P1 that was first discovered in neighbouring Brazil.

As a result, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay are once more seeing infections peak, according to data gathered by Reuters.

A total of 40% of confirmed coronavirus cases in the capital Lima are the Brazilian variant that entered the Amazon region in the north-east of the country at the beginning of the year, the government said on Wednesday.

The new infection record comes as millions of Peruvians are due to vote in presidential and congressional elections on April 11.

The government has insisted the polls will not be postponed but carried out under strict health regulations.

The Andean nation of some 33 million inhabitants launched its COVID vaccine drive in February using a drug manufactured by Chinese pharmaceutical Sinopharm. So far it has received 1 million doses of a total agreed purchase of 38 million.

(Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/3tUM8ta)

It has also received 317,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine both through a bilateral deal and the Covax vaccine alliance facility.

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